The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in June that it would allow consumers to automatically re-enroll in their Obamacare plan for 2015, saying at the time that it would simplify the process for those who were happy with their government-mandated coverage.
Well, as it turns out, that HHS may be setting up millions of Obamacare consumers for a big headache next year:
Automatic renewal was supposed to make the next open-enrollment under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul smooth for consumers.
But unless the administration changes its 2015 approach, “they’re setting people up for large and avoidable premium increases,” said researcher Caroline Pearson, who follows the health law for the market analysis firm Avalere Health.
It could be a new twist on an old public relations headache for the White House: You keep the health plan you like but get billed way more.
Part of this deals with the changes to benchmark plans. As it is right now, the second-lowest cost “silver plan” is the benchmark to which subsidies are tied. Avalere Health recently found that the benchmark silver plan will lose that status in 2015 in six of the nine states it analyzed. The problem is the benchmark plan will change in many areas of the country, meaning that customers will have to pay more to keep their plans.