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The open enrollment period for health insurance coverage for 2015 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins November 15, 2014, and ends on February 15, 2015.

Plans With Automatic Enrollment

Some individuals who are currently enrolled in a health plan through the Marketplace will have their health insurance coverage renewed automatically. Notices from the health insurance company will indicate if plans automatically continue for 2015, and if individuals will continue with the same plan, or a similar plan. In those cases, individuals do not need to take any action; their 2015 coverage will start January 1, 2015.

Note: Individuals whose plans automatically re-enroll them do not need to stay with their current plan; they can decide to change. Individuals should review plan options for 2015 so they can choose the best plan for their needs. Individuals who would like to change plans must enroll in a new plan by December 15, 2014 in order to have active coverage on January 1, 2015, and not have a gap in coverage.

Plans Without Automatic Enrollment

Some insurance companies will not automatically enroll individuals for 2015 coverage. Notices from the health insurance company will indicate if plans do not automatically continue for 2015. Coverage for these individuals will end on December 31, 2014 unless they take action. If the insurance company notice states that the individual is not automatically enrolled in the plan for 2015, then the individual must select a plan and enroll in order to have health insurance coverage beginning January 1, 2015. Individuals whose plan does not continue automatically must enroll in a plan by December 15, 2014 in order to have active coverage on January 1, 2015, and not have a gap in their coverage.

More information on plans without automatic enrollment is available at:

Updating Applications

All individuals who obtain health insurance through the ACA Marketplace must update their applications annually with any important changes, like income, household size, and change of address. Even individuals whose plans automatically re-enroll them must still update their information. Coverage may be impacted by changes in income or household information. For example, individuals may be eligible for subsidies that they were not eligible for during 2014 enrollment.

ACA Marketplace and Medicare

Medicare is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act. Individuals with health coverage through Medicare do not need to do anything with the ACA Marketplace during Marketplace Open Enrollment. The ACA Marketplace will not have any impact on an individual's Medicare coverage. The Marketplace is designed to help people who do not have any health coverage. In general, individuals with Medicare coverage (either through traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan) should not replace Medicare coverage with Marketplace coverage.  

Medicare's Open Enrollment is not part of, or affected by, ACA's Open Enrollment. Medicare's Open Enrollment is an entirely separate enrollment process. Medicare Open Enrollment is from October 15, 2014 through December 7, 2014. Individuals with Medicare should review their current health and prescription drug coverage, including any changes in costs, coverage, and benefits that will take effect next year during Medicare's Open Enrollment period.

K. Kertesz, November 2014

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