Active and Passive Reenrollment for 2016 Marketplace Health Insurance Coverage
If you enrolled in a Marketplace plan in 2015, then you may not have to do anything at all to renew your coverage, but government agencies, brokers and assisters all agree that you should take action.
Open Enrollment for the 2016 plan year begins November 1st, 2015 and ends January 31st, 2016. During this time, new and renewing individuals and families can get health insurance. If you’re renewing your coverage, there’s a few things you need to know about an “active reenrollment” and a “passive reenrollment”.
If you do nothing at all before December 15th with your Marketplace Health Plan, you will be automatically reenrolled using the information that you provided in your 2015 application, including plan selection and your most recent income information that is on file with the IRS if you opted in to allow The Marketplace to automatically access that information.
On October 15th, The Marketplace will send out reenrollment information to health insurance carriers, like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, etc. That information will include your plan and premium information for January 1st coverage if you take no other action by December 15th, 2015.
In mid-October The Marketplace will also send out a Marketplace Open Enrollment Notices (MOEN) to you, the covered individual. All MOENs will include basic information about redetermination and renewal process and reporting any changes that may affect eligibility. For individuals that authorized The Marketplace to go directly to the IRS to get updated information, their MOEN will also include information about how their advance premium tax credits, cost sharing reductions and premiums for 2016 were redetermined.
If you are happy with that plan and premium, then you do not need to take any action other than continuing to make your premium payments.
Keep in mind, you will not be eligible for passive reenrollment if your policy terminated during the 2015 calendar year. If you lose coverage for lack of premium payment, you will not be able to do a passive enrollment.
Active Reenrollment is highly encouraged! Primarily, because you may have updated income information, you may want to add or remove a family member, and you may want to look at a different carrier who may not have been available in 2015.
The Marketplaces were created to provide more competition on the individual market, and you will see different carriers coming in and out of your area or pricing their products lower than the lowest cost provider in the previous year.
You also need to reevaluate your network. Networks are always growing and shrinking, and the contracts that many doctors sign do not begin and end with the calendar year, like your health plan does. You may have a lost a preferred provider mid-year and need to reevaluate.
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