Health insurance exchange open enrollment period is about to start in the US

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Open enrollment period begins on November 15 this year, running through February, 2015

The next open enrollment period for U.S. health insurance exchanges begins on November 15 this year, but many people may still be uncertain about what they need to do to be covered by January 1, 2015. The open enrollment period will run through February 15, 2015, but in order for coverage to begin in January, people will have to purchase policies from exchanges before December 15. The Alliance of Insurance Services has been taking steps to raise awareness about the upcoming enrollment period.

Consumers should not bet on being automatically enrolled in their state’s insurance exchange

Some people may be automatically enrolled in health plans that they had previously purchased through an exchange. This would be akin to renewing an insurance policy through a private company. Most should not count on this happening, however, as technical issues with exchanges can affect the automated process and insurers making changes to their policies could cancel automatic renewal entirely.

Notices about enrollment period will be sent to consumers

uninsured health insurance exchangeBefore the open enrollment period officially begins, consumers will receive two notices about enrollment. One notice will be issued by their insurance provider, with the other coming from the exchange where they purchased their coverage. These notices are meant to inform people about the enrollment period and insurance companies are also likely to provide some information regarding any changes to their policies they may have made.

Penalties for lack of insurance coverage will be going up next year

Per the Affordable Care Act, all U.S. citizens must have health insurance coverage. Those that go without insurance could face financial penalties. Last year, the fee was set at a flat rate of $99, or 1% of total income. Next year, the fee will be raised, adding further incentive to purchase health insurance coverage. Many policies sold through exchanges are expected to become somewhat more expensive next year, and consumers are being encouraged to shop around in order to find the best policies according to their financial needs.

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