What To Do If Your health insurance changes
Commissioner Teresa Miller is alerting consumers who have
bought individual health insurance and do not get coverage from their
employer to watch for communications from their insurer regarding their
coverage for next year.
By November 1, insurers should send policyholders a letter
regarding any changes in coverage for 2016. Insurers will notify consumers if they are:
- Renewing the consumer’s coverage under
the current plan,
- Moving the consumer to a new plan with
a different deductible and premiums,
- Moving the consumer from a plan in the
federal health insurance marketplace (marketplace), throughwhich consumers are
eligible for a subsidy to help afford coverage, to an off-marketplace plan for
which subsidies are not available, or
- Not offering this plan next year, so
the consumer will have to shop for a new plan.
Commissioner Miller notes that individuals can shop for new plans
starting November 1. Current plans are
in effect until December 31, and consumers have until December 15 to enroll in
a new plan to be covered by that plan starting January 1 and avoid any lapse
A total of 19 insurance companies are selling health plans
to individuals statewide. A list of
health plans currently available to Pennsylvania residents through the federal
marketplace is available at www.healthcare.gov or by phone at 1-800-318-2596. The list
of plans available for 2016 will be updated by November 1. Consumers can get free in-person enrollment
assistance from insurance agents or enrollment assisters by visiting www.localhelp.healthcare.gov.
Remember, consumers are only eligible for subsidies to help
pay premiums for plans bought through the federal marketplace at www.healthcare.gov. Individuals can also buy plans directly from
insurance companies. These plans must
all contain the same minimum benefits, and some of the plans sold by insurers
may contain additional benefits.
Commissioner Miller is encouraging everyone with individual
health plans to shop around even if your coverage is continuing in 2016. She urged consumers to pay particular
attention to whether their insurer is keeping them on a marketplace plan for
next year because consumers moved to non-marketplace plans are not eligible
for subsidies and must return to the Marketplace, www.healthcare.gov. to buy a plan there
in order to qualify for subsidies.
Information on proposed rates for 2016 individual and small group
health plans is available here. For examples of plans
and rates available where you live, visit our Proposed 2016 Affordable Care Act
Rates by Rating Area.