Monday, September 15, 2014

Obamacare 2.0, Outlook Not So Good

Obamacare 2.0 is about to be unveiled (after the fall election, of course) and already skeptics are Don't count on it going well.
playing "what if?". The automatic renewal process for those who don't pick a plan by December 15, 2014 may be disappointing.

If you bought an Obamacare plan any time in 2014 that plan will automatically expire on 12/31/14. If you don't pick a new plan your carrier will pick one for you.

Assuming that carrier is returning for 2015. If you think your current plan will be available in 2015, don't count on it.

If your plan is subsidized by working taxpayers, your credits may increase or decrease for 2015. The government will apply the same subsidy amount your guesstimated for 2014 against your 2015 plans.

It is very doubtful things will work out if you opt for the automatic route.
But consumers who go that route may regret it. They risk sticker shock by missing out on lower-premium options. And they could get stuck with an outdated and possibly incorrect government subsidy. 

I doubt there will be lower priced plans for 2015. Signs point to increases of 10% or higher rates.
Of those enrolled this year, the overwhelming majority received tax credits to help pay their premiums. Because those subsidies are tied to income, those 6.7 million consumers will have to file new forms with their 2014 tax returns to prove they got the right amount.
Sounds great, but when will you file your 2014 taxes?

Most likely it will be AFTER open enrollment closes on February 15.

What could possibly go wrong?
Insurers say they continue to worry about connections not fully straightened out between their computer systems and the government's.
They also are concerned about retaining customers. One quirk troubling the industry is that policyholders who want to update their subsidies and stay in the same plan will have to type in a 14-character plan identifier when they re-enroll online. That's longer than a phone number or a Social Security number, and customers may not know where to find it.

So will things be different?

Without a doubt.

blog comments powered by Disqus