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Enroll in ACA by 12/15, then change plan after 12/15?
Old 12-01-2015, 06:45 AM   #1
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Enroll in ACA by 12/15, then change plan after 12/15?

Just wondering. If I sign up with a certain health insurance plan before the December 15 deadline, then later want to change to another plan, is that possible?

The information I need, to make a decision on plans won't be available to me until after December 15. That's why I may want to change at that time.

From the Ocare deadline schedule, it looks like you can enroll or change "late" up until Jan 31, 2016.

But I need to know if you can cancel an enrollment and then re-enroll.

Obamacare rules below :


December 15, 2015: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start January 1, 2016

January 1, 2016: 2016 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by December 15.


January 15, 2016: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start February 1, 2016



January 31, 2016: 2016 Open Enrollment ends. Enrollments or changes between January 16 and January 31 take effect March 1, 2016.


Thanks
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:28 AM   #2
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JG3,
Very timely question for me as well. Have already enrolled in a Bronze plan for 2016. Recent and now chronic medical issues are causing me to consider changing to a Silver plan. Am very interested in the replies.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:36 AM   #3
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As long as it is in the oe window I don't see why not. Outside the window it would defeat the purpose of the open enrollment. So buy a bronze, find out you are sick, then switch to a platinum.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by zedd View Post
JG3,
Very timely question for me as well. Have already enrolled in a Bronze plan for 2016. Recent and now chronic medical issues are causing me to consider changing to a Silver plan. Am very interested in the replies.
My guess is that once you choose a window, and enroll/change, you're stuck with that decision for all of 2016 (barring life change event). But I haven't called Healthcare.gov yet to ask, since they have been very unreliable in their answers previously.

What I might do is enroll by Dec15 in one plan, then just hope I'll be allowed to change if necessary, before the Jan 31 deadline.

What I found on Healthcare.gov :

During the yearly Open Enrollment Period: Change plans any time

  • The Open Enrollment Period for 2016 insurance is November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016. Log into your HealthCare.gov account, update your application if necessary, select a different plan, and complete your enrollment.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------


It doesn't say whether you can change plans more than once.
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Old 12-02-2015, 02:18 PM   #5
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OK. Found something useful on KFF.org (Kaiser Family Foundation). From their Q and A section referring to signup for 2016 plans :

I signed up for a health plan at the beginning of Open Enrollment, then changed my mind. Can I switch to a different plan as long as the Open Enrollment period hasn’t yet ended?

Yes. You can switch to a different plan at any time during Open Enrollment.


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Sounds like Jim was right!

And I am assuming the Open Enrollment period is one period from Nov 1 2015 through 1/31/2016, as opposed to one of the 3 sub-enrollment periods.

Too bad for the first insurance co that created your cards, and set you up in their system, etc. Oh well.

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And from healthinsurance.org :

Q. If I already enrolled in a plan for the new year, can I change my mind and pick a different plan instead?



A. Yes, you can make multiple plan selections during open enrollment, as long as you complete the final plan change by the end of open enrollment. This applies to people whose prior-year plans were auto-renewed, as well as those who selected their own plan for the new year and want to make a different choice instead.
In almost all states, plan changes completed by the 15th of the month will be effective the first of the following month.
There are three states that have deadlines after the 15th of the month to get a first of the following month effective date: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington all allow consumers to enroll or make a plan change up until the 23rd of the month and still have a first of the following month effective date.
If you enroll in a plan early in open enrollment and then change your mind before open enrollment is over, contact the exchange and follow its instructions for making a plan change. Make a note of who helped you, and get an incident number to keep track of the steps you’ve taken.
Be aware that the cancellation of your existing policy could take a while, especially during open enrollment when the exchanges and carries are very busy. Generally, if you enrolled through the exchange, you have to initiate the cancellation request through the exchange, and they’ll transmit it to the carrier. (If you’re enrolled in an off-exchange plan, you’ll submit your cancellation request directly to your carrier.)
If your current premiums are automatically drafted from your bank account, you can request a change to paper billing; in most cases, this can be done directly through the carrier. Then, if there’s a delay in processing your cancellation request, you won’t be inadvertently paying for two plans at the same time.
Make sure you pay any premiums due on the current plan to cover you until the new plan takes effect, so you don’t end up with gaps in coverage.
After the end of open enrollment, you won’t be able to make a plan change (including off-exchange, unless you live in Nevada) for the rest of the year unless you have a qualifying event.


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Note that it says you have to call the Obamacare people to make the change. Can't do it using the system, supposedly.
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Old 12-02-2015, 04:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post
OK. Found something useful on KFF.org (Kaiser Family Foundation). From their Q and A section referring to signup for 2016 plans :

I signed up for a health plan at the beginning of Open Enrollment, then changed my mind. Can I switch to a different plan as long as the Open Enrollment period hasnít yet ended?

Yes. You can switch to a different plan at any time during Open Enrollment.
Great link. Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2015, 04:33 PM   #7
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Good find! Thanks!
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