Buyer beware: If you are currently enrolled in an Obamacare health insurance plan, think twice before you allow it to auto-renew. A recent report in The National Journal warns that the auto-renewal option may allow you to keep the same coverage but at a considerable price.
According to Stateline, a news service that is part of The Pew Charitable Trusts, health insurance exchange enrollees who automatically renew their current plans could see their premiums and out-of-pocket costs skyrocket with little or no warning. Those who get a subsidy from the federal government — about 87 percent of current Obamacare participants — are particularly likely to see price hikes.
Elizabeth Carpenter, director at healthcare analytics firm Avalere Health, said in a recent press release that subsidies were awarded based on the second-lowest cost plan available, the so-called “benchmark plan.” However, because that benchmark may be changing, consumers could see their subsidies change too. Meanwhile, the premiums for their existing plans may be going up. That means that if you auto-renew, you could have less help from the federal government to pay a higher bill, leaving you to shell out more money out-of-pocket.
“Most enrollees in 2014 chose a plan based on the monthly premium. However, the lowest cost plans in 2014 may no longer be low cost in 2015,” Carpenter said in a statement. “Before consumers renew their 2014 plan, they should consider the tradeoff between continuity of care and lower monthly premiums.”
Although you might be tempted to auto-renew your policy for the sake of convenience, comparison shopping before you commit could save you hundreds of dollars over the coming year. Another critical step toward achieving fiscal responsibility is exploring your options for life insurance online. Get a quote from Local Life Agents today!