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What Happens If I Miss a Health Insurance Premium Payment?

What Happens If I Miss a Health Insurance Premium Payment?

Posted Feb 21, 2017 by Jenifer Dorsey

Uh oh. Life got crazy. Or, maybe money got tight. Something or other happened, and you didn’t pay your first Obamacare premium in 2017.

Now what?

You may not have health insurance.

What to do if you didn’t pay your premium … or aren’t sure if you paid it

Contact your health insurance company as soon as possible. Find out if you are enrolled in an Obamacare plan for 2017 and if you are up to date on your premium payment(s). While it is likely the company would have notified you about any unpaid premium amounts and resulting plan cancellation, it is not always safe to assume—addressing errors, technical glitches and mail delivery mistakes happen.

Not being able to recall paying your premium, not seeing payments withdrawn from your bank account, or not receiving communication from your health insurance company can all be red flags.

If you find out you are:

Is there anything I can do if my Obamacare coverage got cancelled?

If your 2017 health insurance plan was cancelled because you failed to make your premium payment, you may find you have no health insurance and no recourse. Open enrollment for 2017 Obamacare plans ended on Jan. 31 and was not extended this year.

You will need to explore your ACA-compliant coverage options, which may include the following:

  • A special Obamacare enrollment period — you must experience a qualifying life event
  • Job-based health insurance — if you (or your spouse) start a job that provides access to major medical benefits
  • Medicaid – you must meet your state’s program enrollment criteria
  • Medicare – you must meet program enrollment criteria

For a list of what qualifies as minimum essential coverage, visit IRS.gov. Think you might be exempt from the shared responsibility provision and able to avoid a tax penalty? Visit IRS.gov to learn more about exemptions and how to apply for them.

If you didn’t pay your premium and lost your health insurance coverage due to cost, read our article “3 Options If You Lost Health Insurance Coverage Due to Affordability” and listen to our podcast on the topic.

What if you can’t get an ACA-compliant plan outside open enrollment?

If an Obamacare plan or other minimum essential coverage is not available to you, then you may want to consider short term health insurance in the meantime—even if you are exempt from the shared responsibility provision.

Short term health plans offer temporary benefits that can help you pay for a range of covered medical expenses. Plans come in several designs, including PPO options, and can be customized in terms of policy length, deductible amount and more. Keep in mind that short term health insurance is not ACA-compliant, which means it will not fulfill the shared responsibility provision and you could be denied coverage based on your health history.

Call the number at the top of your screen to speak with a certified advisor about short term health insurance options or other supplemental products to help you pay for healthcare while you are in between Obamacare plans.


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Originally posted on May 12, 2016.

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