Choosing a Health Plan for 2015… What to know (and do) now

aca enrollment redlands caThe national open-enrollment period for health insurance coverage for 2015 is Nov. 15, 2014 through Feb. 15, 2015. During this period, insurance carriers offering coverage must guarantee acceptance into Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant health insurance plans without limitations on pre-existing conditions.

If you haven’t already prepared for the 2015 open-enrollment period, here are some important steps to take.

Find out if your current health plan complies with the ACA. In all materials describing plan benefits, health plans must disclose whether or not they are ACA compliant. Check your materials or contact your carrier to confirm the status of your plan.

  • ACA-compliant health plans.If you’re enrolled in a 2014 ACA-compliant health plan, your benefit year ends Dec. 31, 2014. Your coverage ends Dec. 31 even if you enrolled in the plan after Jan. 1, and any changes to your benefits or rates will be made at the beginning of each calendar year.

To continue your coverage in 2015, you can renew you current plan or chose a new plan.

Non-compliant health plans. If you like your current health plan, you may be able to keep it. But if your carrier discontinues your plan or it loses “grandfathered” status, you may have to upgrade to a plan that meets ACA requirements. In most cases, your insurance provider will tell you if you’re required to make a change for 2015.

You may be at risk for a penalty if your plan isn’t ACA compliant, so check your materials or contact your carrier to confirm. The government accessed penalty for non-compliance with ACA has increased for 2015 – 2 percent of your income or $325 per adult /$162.50 per child, whichever is more.

Shop for coverage

Although you can’t apply for 2015 coverage until Nov. 15, you can start evaluating your needs now.
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