On November 15, 2014, a three-month open enrollment period will begin for the state and federal health insurance Marketplaces (sometimes called "exchanges") that were created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If you are uninsured, this is your opportunity to enroll in a Marketplace plan. If you are already enrolled in a 2014 marketplace plan, this is your chance to renew or change your plan in order to retain benefits after December 31, 2014. In some cases, you will be automatically re-enrolled, but do not just assume the plan you chose last year is necessarily still the best choice for your situation.
Even small insurance coverage changes can have a big impact on your access to your doctors, hospitals and medications, as well as the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket to get the care you need. That is why LLS recommends that everyone purchasing insurance coverage through a marketplace carefully consider which plan is best for their individual and family needs.
The number of insurers set to sell plans this year is 25 percent higher than for 2014, so buyers will have more choices.
Open enrollment will close on February 15, 2015. After that, you will be able to enroll in a 2015 marketplace plan only if you experience certain life-changing events, such as divorce, pregnancy, or the loss of employer-provided coverage. If you choose to go without coverage, you may be subject to a fine, which is higher than it was in 2014: 2% of your income or $325 per adult/$162.50 per child, whichever is more.
LLS is committed to removing access barriers for blood cancer patients. If you purchase a marketplace plan and later experience an access barrier such as high treatment costs, a lack of access to your provider or hospital, or a delay in getting timely care, please share your story with us at email@example.com. Similarly, if you have a positive experience, we would like to hear from you too. Making your voice heard can really make a difference!
If you have questions or want more information, please contact LLS's Information Resource Center (IRC) at 1-800-955-4572, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.