Keep or change your insurance plan

Automatic re-enrollment: Keeps you covered, but it’s important to update & shop 2017 plans

If you don’t log in to update your application and enroll in a plan by December 15, 2016, you may be automatically enrolled for 2017. This way, you’ll be covered starting January 1.

Automatic enrollment is a good fallback. But the only way to make sure you have a plan that works for you, with the savings you qualify for, is to update your application, and view plan options for 2017.

The letter you get from your insurance company will say if you’ll be automatically enrolled.

Act now: Log in to update, compare plans & enroll

Even if you’ll be automatically enrolled, we strongly recommend you log in to your Marketplace account, update your application with your expected 2017 income and household information, and compare the plan you’re offered with other 2017 plans.

  • You can enroll in any available plan — the one you'll be automatically enrolled in or any other.
  • Enroll by December 15, 2016 and your new or updated coverage can start January 1, 2017.
  • You can change plans until January 31, 2017. But if you wait you’ll have one plan and premium tax credit starting January 1 and another plan and premium tax credit starting February 1 or March 1. This can disrupt your coverage, care, and household budget.

More answers: Automatic re-enrollment in health care

How will I know when I've been automatically enrolled?

If you haven't updated your application and confirmed your 2017 health plan selection by December 15, you'll get a notice from the Marketplace between December 16, 2016 and January 1, 2017.

It will say which plan you’ve been enrolled in and explain your options for updating and changing plans.

When you log into your account on or after December 16, you may see a message telling you we’ve automatically enrolled you. You’ll find it on your “My applications & coverage” page.

You can change your coverage until January 31, 2017.

Why will I be automatically enrolled in a similar health plan?

Insurance companies sometimes change which health plans they offer in the Marketplace. This is a normal part of their business operations.

If your insurance company isn't offering your plan for 2017, we'll enroll you in a plan with similar pricing and coverage. Your insurance company letter will explain.

You can accept the enrollment in the similar plan or enroll in a different one.

Note: An insurance company can't move you to a different plan based on your health or how much care you use. It can move you only if it's no longer offering your plan to anyone in your area. Learn how insurance companies can price plans.

What if I don’t like the plan I'll be enrolled in automatically, or the premium has gone up?

Just log into your HealthCare.gov account any time until January 31, 2017 to update your application and enroll in any available 2017 plan.

  • Enroll in the plan you want by December 15, 2016 and your new coverage starts January 1, 2017.
  • Even after you're automatically enrolled in a plan starting January 1, 2017, you can change plans until January 31, 2017.
  • After January 31, you can't change plans for the rest of 2017 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Note: An insurance company can't move you to a different plan based on your health or how much care you use. It can move you only if it's no longer offering your plan to anyone in your area. Learn how insurance companies can price plans.

What if I won’t be automatically enrolled?

Just log into your HealthCare.gov account, update your application, and check out the plans available for 2017.

Can I prevent automatic enrollment without enrolling in a new plan?

Yes, but you don’t have to as long as you log into your HealthCare.gov account any time before December 15, 2016, update your 2017 application, and enroll in a 2017 plan. This prevents you from being automatically enrolled.

To prevent automatic enrollment for 2017 without enrolling in a new plan:

  • Between November 1 and December 15, 2016, log into your HealthCare.gov account and select your 2016 application — NOT your 2017 application.
  • On the “My Coverage” page you’ll see a box near the bottom that explains how to prevent automatic enrollment for 2017.

IMPORTANT: On December 16, 2016, your automatic enrollment for 2017 will be complete. You can cancel your plan any time without replacing it.

Before deciding to go without health insurance for 2017, there are important things to consider.

  • There are significant health and financial benefits of having health coverage — and risks if you don’t. Nobody expects to get sick or hurt. But medical care without insurance is very expensive, so it’s important to have protection if the unexpected happens. Health coverage also helps you get regular care, including free preventive services, to keep you healthy. Learn about the benefits of health coverage.
  • If you don’t have qualifying health coverage in 2017, you may have to pay a fee. For 2017, the penalty is either: 2.5% of your household income or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child), whichever is higher.

If you prevent your automatic enrollment and then decide you want a 2017 plan, you can enroll until January 31, 2017.

What if I don't update my income and household information until after I'm automatically enrolled in a health care plan?

Just log into your HealthCare.gov account as soon as possible and update your 2017 application.

When you update your expected income and household, you'll get updated eligibility results. Your premium tax credit and other savings may change. You could also qualify for different coverage. You can change plans any time until January 31, 2017.

Important: You must complete your enrollment — even if you want to stay with the plan you were automatically enrolled in.

After January 31, 2017, you can't change plans for the rest of 2017 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.