Peter Suderman accuses the Feds of a big old ♡bamaCare!!! “Friday news dump,” and that’s exactly what this stinker looks like:
The Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is considering changing Obamacare’s auto-renewal rules so that, within the health law’s exchanges, instead of being automatically renewed into your current health plan, you’d be moved into the lowest cost plan from the same service tier.
From the attached fact sheet:
Under current rules, consumers who do not take action during the openenrollment window are re-enrolled in the same plan they were in the previous year, even if that plan experienced significant premium increases. We are considering alternative options for re-enrollment, under which consumers who take no action might be defaulted into a lower cost plan rather than their current plan.
(Fact sheet via Adrianna McIntyre; proposal first noted by Politico.)
States running their own exchanges could start doing this in 2016, and federal exchanges could start in 2017.
So imagine you like the plan you have, or at least you’ve settled for the plan the ACA allows you to have. “Silver” seems to be popular, or at least purchased frequently, so we’ll say that’s the one you have. Unbeknownst to you however, Silver prices went up 20% back in November, and here you are in February at the doctor’s office for your annual checkup. The problem is, your copay and your deductible are higher than you were expecting, because your exchange very helpfully moved you down into the Bronze plan at the first of the year, in order to mask your premium hike before you pulled the lever for President Hillary a couple months ago. Things could get really bad if the doctor has bad news for you just in time for your much higher (and unexpectedly so) out-of-pocket expenses.
But now you’re stuck with it until 2018, because someone at DHS knows better than you.