Monday, February 10, 2014

Why You Should Pay Your Marketplace Insurance Premium on Time

We know health reform is big and confusing. Some parts of the law started in 2010. Other parts are rolling out over the next several years. Texas physicians and the Texas Medical Association have carefully studied the law to help you understand what the changes mean to your health care.

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to roll out, Me&My Doctor’s “Hey Doc” series will answer your frequently-asked questions, as well as some you might not have thought to ask.

Check out TMA’s past “Hey, Doc” segments.

Q. Why is it important to pay my marketplace insurance premium on time? 

A. Remember that when you buy your insurance, you pay a set monthly fee, called a premium, to make sure it’s there for you when you need it. But for your insurance to actually work, you have to pay that premium on time. If you don’t, you could be responsible for paying your entire health care bill out of your own pocket. Not paying your premiums on time also means you could miss out on other financial help for your medical bills. (See “What are the subsidies?”)

Step one is signing up for an insurance plan, but understand that having a marketplace insurance ID card does not mean you have active insurance coverage unless you pay your premiums. Once you sign up, your insurance company will tell you when your payment is due. It will usually be the same time each month, depending on when you first signed up. Most health plans also offer different ways to pay your premiums, like by check or by money order, or by mail or by automatic payments.

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