ACA: Aspirin Not Included

The Pew Charitable Trust has put out a timely warning about auto-renewing insurance under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Many plans will likely increase their premiums in November (no surprises there, alas), but those increases will be especially tricky for those who are receiving supplements under state exchanges.

aspirin.f1-184x300Pew suggests not letting your plan automatically renew and taking a hard look at numbers. Here’s the money quote: “Consumers who automatically re-up with the plan they already have could face steep and unexpected premiums and out-of-pocket costs, particularly if they received a federal subsidy.”

The increases will reflect changes to the “benchmark plan,” as Pew explains, “The subsidy people receive is pegged to the second-lowest priced Silver plan, the so-called ‘benchmark plan,’ meaning that the amount of a subsidy any individual receives no matter which plan he or she selects, is based on how much they would receive if they picked that benchmark plan.”

Whether or not you receive a subsidiary, it’s best to look very closely at the paperwork. The privately funded National Health Council has an online calculator to help determine some of the costs. If you’re deciding on a supplemental Medicare plan, it should also prove useful.