The Benefit Bank News

Important Health Insurance Marketplace Updates

The 2015 open enrollment period for marketplace health insurance plans is November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. Enroll now! Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2015.

Open Enrollment affects both individuals without health care coverage and individuals who are already enrolled in a 2014 Marketplace plan.

  • Individuals without health coverage generally need to enroll in coverage during open enrollment in order to have Marketplace coverage for 2015.*
  • People who do not have health coverage in 2015 (and do not qualify for an exemption) will have to pay a fee on next year’s tax return. The fee in 2015 is higher than it was in 2014 — two percent of income or $325 per adult/$162.50 per child, whichever is more.
  • Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are open all year; applications are taken throughout the year and people who qualify can enroll right away.

Individuals who are already enrolled in a 2014 Marketplace plan can either renew their current plan or choose a new health plan. Many people chose to automatically renew their coverage, but this doesn’t mean they should do nothing!

Everyone with a current Marketplace plan - even those who chose the automatic renewal option - should return to the Marketplace ( in order to update their income information, check to see if their plan has changed, or consider whether a different plan would be a better option for the coming year. Clients who are enrolled in a plan for 2014 can change plans even if they chose to automatically renew their coverage, and even after they've been automatically enrolled.

  • Monthly premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and provider networks can change significantly from year-to-year in Marketplace plans.
  • Advanced Premium Tax Credit amounts, which help cover health insurance costs, are not automatically adjusted to reflect changes in family circumstances (income, household size) or premium increases. Clients may end up paying too much or too little for coverage - and having to return some of the credit when they file taxes - if they don’t review and adjust their information.
  • Individuals who gave consent to check 2013 IRS data and had significant income changes will receive notices encouraging them to return to the Marketplace. However, even people who do not receive this message from the Marketplace should return to the Marketplace, as other factors can affect the calculation of an individual’s premium credits for 2015.

Use the links below to learn more about The Benefit Bank and the Health Insurance Marketplace in your state:

*Outside of Open Enrollment, individuals can buy coverage through the Marketplace only if they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Clients who were without coverage in 2014 may still be able to get 2014 coverage if they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

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