Affordable Care Act: Plan got cancelled, what to do now

“I’m one of those millions of people who got a cancellation notice from their insurer.  I have been on that plan for years and was happy with it, since I’m basically healthy and don’t use much.  What should I do now?” 

Lost With Friends

Dear Lost With Friends,

Yes, you have a lot of company in your plight!

Your first step would be to call your insurer and ask if they will re-instate your plan.  This is a long shot, since it takes a lot of administrative work to revive a plan that they had mothballed.  It’s worth asking, though.

If your plan is coming back and you like it, by all means keep it.  It’s not entirely clear that these plans – which do not meet health reform standards – will “count” and shelter you from the penalty.  I assume this is what will happen, but I have not heard this addressed.

If they say no, your plan is indeed going away, then you have two different options.

1)      If you earn less than 400% of Federal Poverty, then you would get government help to pay for your insurance.  In order to get this subsidy, you have to buy your plan on the exchange.  The federal exchange is not working well enough to handle all of the visitors, but many state exchanges are working fine.  Go to healthcare.gov and it will direct you to your state’s exchange.  If your state is using the federal exchange, then you can buck up your patience or find an insurance broker to help you.

2)      If you earn more than 400% of Federal Poverty, you would not be using the exchange.  Again, your best tactic is to find an insurance broker.  It doesn’t cost you anything more to use an insurance broker and a good one can be very helpful.

Of course, you do have the option to end your plan and not buy another one.  I wouldn’t recommend this, even for someone who “doesn’t use much.”  You cannot predict when you are going to become high cost.

Good luck!

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Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.