Get Ready for Obamacare Open Enrollment for 2015

Open Enrollment period for 2015 Individual and Family health insurance plans starts November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015. If you bought health insurance for yourself or for yourself and family this year and wish to change to a different plan or to a different health insurance company, you may do so starting 11/15/14.

If you bought a health insurance policy between March 10, 2010 and December 2013, a so-called non-grandfathered policy, your health insurance company may be willing to continue it into 2015, temporarily, as implementation of some features of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) have been postponed. However, some insurance companies have opted to switch non-grandfathered policies to new ones meeting the requirements of Obamacare now, with new insurance taking effect on January 1, 2015. By now you should have received a letter from your insurance company explaining their action. In any event you are free to shop for new health insurance starting November 15th.

The law of unintended consequences is always in play, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is loaded with them. Pre-ACA, the vast majority of health insurance policies renewed each year on their anniversary date, so roughly one-twelfth of an insurer’s book of business was up for renewal each month.

ACA policies all run through the calendar year (January through December), and may or may not be available on January 1st following the year they were purchased. ACA creates an administrative log jam at your health insurance company each December as its total book of business must be addressed. Some policies may renew as-is in January, or may be replaced, or canceled, or who-knows-what. Expect chaos.

If you are caught in the ACA whirlpool take solice in the fact that your federal government is taking good care of you. After all, your President promised your Obamacare premiums would go down $2,500, that you could keep your old insurance and you could keep your doctor. A famous scholar once said you don’t lose your freedoms all at once, but little by little while you are not paying attention.

Carpe Deim