General Question

JonnyCeltics's avatar

If I sign up for an exchange within Obamacare, can I cancel it if I don't wish to continue having insurance mid-way through?

Asked by JonnyCeltics (2690 points ) December 21st, 2013

What happens if I sign up for an Obamacare plan (I live in NY), and I decide that I don’t want the coverage any longer, either for financial reasons, or simply because I don’t like it (for lack of a better way of putting it). I guess I just want to know what my options are here….

I imagine it’s specific to the provider, but…if you’ve any insight, I’d love to know.

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7 Answers

Judi's avatar

If you don’t pay the premium you will no longer have the coverage.
You need to do it by Monday in order to be covered January 1st.

JonnyCeltics's avatar

@Judi If not by Monday, then before March 31st, too.

To be clearer—can I opt out of coverage, or am I contracted to these companies for a specified term/time period, e.g., 1 year?

Judi's avatar

I’m pretty sure the contract ends when they don’t get a check.

hearkat's avatar

We were just talking about how the providers are going to have a tough time checking every patient’s insurance to be sure it is active at every visit – I hope the ACA has built an automatic checker into the system for those practices who have made the switch to electronic records.

@JonnyCeltics, Judi pointed out that Monday’s deadline is if you want coverage to begin January 01, 2014. If you wait until after that, your coverage probably won’s start until at least a week after you sign up. the March 31st deadline is the latest you can wait to still be considered “covered” for 2014 and avoid the penalties.

I am not sure if the penalty will be pro-rated for people who sign up but then default on their insurance premiums. You may find your answer on Consumer Reports’ HealthLawHelper.org site.

kritiper's avatar

A good question for your health insurance broker.

jaytkay's avatar

We were just talking about how the providers are going to have a tough time checking every patient’s insurance to be sure it is active at every visit

That’s true today. Why would it change?

hearkat's avatar

@jaytkay – The change is that there will be an increased proportion of people with insurance that will be paying it on their own (as opposed to payroll deduction) so there’s a greater risk for default.

Add to that the increase in insurance companies, and the variety of plans and packages within insurance companies, and it will also be tougher for providers to know who is covered for what who needs per certification for what, etc.

HMOs have been around for over 25 years, and we still have patients that come in clueless about needing referrals or copays, and expecting that the provider knows the ins-and-outs of each policy.

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