What if I want to change individual insurance plans?
If you have an individual insurance plan and want to change it, you can use the Marketplace to explore your options and enroll in a new plan.
Replacing individual insurance
You may use the Marketplace to replace individual insurance you currently have. In the Marketplace, you can find out whether you can get lower costs on monthly premiums and reduce your out-of pocket-costs. You can compare plans based on price, benefits, and other features important to you.
Check with your insurance company before cancelling your policy. You may have to wait until the end of your policy year before you can cancel.
When you can change plans
If your current plan ends or your insurance is canceled before March 31, 2014, you can use the Marketplace during open enrollment to replace your individual insurance.
You may qualify for a special enrollment period in the Marketplace when your plan ends because you're losing your coverage. This is also true if your plan is canceled and ends outside open enrollment. See "What key dates do I need to know?" for more information about when Marketplace coverage can begin based on when you enroll.
- Voluntarily ending your plan, or being terminated for not making your premium payments, doesn’t qualify as losing your coverage. You don’t get a special enrollment period that would allow you to enroll outside open enrollment.
Learn about your options if your plan is being canceled.
Your insurance company may need to provide documentation to the Marketplace that your plan has ended.
What if I'm eligible for insurance through an employer?
If you are eligible for job-based coverage that you haven't enrolled in, you may have bought an insurance plan yourself. If this is the case, if you change to Marketplace insurance you may not be able to get lower costs on monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs.
It will depend in part on whether the insurance your employer offers meets certain standards for cost and coverage. Your employer should provide information to help determine whether the plan meets those standards. The Marketplace will also provide tools that help you determine whether the plan meets the standards.
Can I get coverage outside the Marketplace?
You can choose to buy individual insurance outside the Marketplace—directly from an insurance company or with the help of an agent or broker. But you won't have access to lower costs on your monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs outside the Marketplace.
Note: Not all plans you buy outside the Marketplace meet the health care law's requirements for minimum essential coverage. That means if you buy one of these plans you could still wind up having to pay the fine that people without insurance coverage may face for 2014 and beyond. Insurance plans must tell you whether they provide minimum essential coverage.
All Marketplace plans offer minimum essential coverage.