Kaiser Health News has been collecting and answering questions from people around the country about the health exchanges set to open on Oct 1 for individuals and small businesses to shop for healthcare coverage. Here's KHN's Michelle Andrews on keeping up with premium payments:
Q. What happens when people don't pay their premiums in a timely manner after they purchased insurance on the new exchange? If they are terminated from the policy, will they be able to re-instate?
A. Consumers who are receiving premium tax credits for coverage on the exchange will get a 90-day grace period to catch up on late premiums, says Edwin Park, vice president for health policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Other consumers not getting the subsidies may get more or less time, depending on the exchange rules or state law, says Park.
Once the grace period has passed, consumers will generally have to wait until the next annual open enrollment period in the fall to re-enroll in coverage. If they're uninsured for more than three months, they could be assessed a penalty for not having insurance coverage of up to $95, or 1 percent of income in 2014, whichever is greater.