Consumers are facing a Dec. 15 to select a new plan under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) if they don’t want to be re-enrolled automatically in the one they currently have. But even if they stay with the same plan out of the nearly 3,000 offered, the cost of their benefits will likely not stay the same.
ProPublica and the New York Times have published an analysis of 2014 and 2015 plans in 34 states being offered on the federal government’s health insurance exchange, often through the website Healthcare.gov.
Customers of more than 900 plans will see their out-of-pocket maximum for medical bills increase, usually to $6,600 for individuals, the most permitted by federal law for next year, the analysis shows. Only about 250 plans are reducing their out-of-pocket maximums. About 180 plans are being discontinued for at least some customers, and the rest are keeping the same limits.
Members of more than 600 plans will have their medical deductibles increase, while those in about 380 will see their deductibles drop.
Writes ProPublica/New York Times: “Consumers of one Illinois plan will see their deductible increase by $4,800. Those re-enrolled in plans offered by Florida
Blue face deductibles as much as $3,650 higher than those this year, while other customers of the same company will see deductibles decrease by up to $3,000. Florida Blue did not respond to a request for comment.”
ProPublica has created an online tool that allows health plan members to see some of the major changes in health plans from one year to the next.
The open enrollment period continues until Feb. 15, and customers who are automatically renewed in their plans can still make changes until that time, but only changes made by Dec. 15 will take effect on Jan. 1.