A Reader Asks: Can I Cancel My Marketplace Plan If My Boss Decides To Offer Coverage?

Q. My husband and I recently bought an HMO plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield on our state exchange. Now my employer tells us he’s going to begin offering health insurance this month. What if that’s a better plan and/or a better price? Can I cancel the one I just purchased and sign up for my employer’s plan?

A. You can drop your marketplace plan anytime you like and sign up during your employer’s open enrollment period for on-the-job coverage. But think through your decision carefully, because if you cancel your marketplace plan now you generally can’t re-enroll until the next open enrollment period that starts Nov. 15.

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A Reader Asks: Can I Cancel My Marketplace Plan If My Boss Decides To Offer Coverage?

But, when you compare premiums for coverage through your employer’s plan versus the exchange plan, keep in mind that what you’re paying now for your marketplace plan may change once you have access to employer coverage. If your income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($62,040 for a couple), you’re probably getting premium tax credits to make coverage on the exchange more affordable. But if your employer’s new health plan offers good coverage–under the health law that means the premium for self-only coverage costs less than 9.5 percent of your income and the plan covers at least 60 percent of allowed medical expenses—you’ll lose your eligibility for exchange plan subsidies, says Judith Solomon, vice president for health policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Of course, if your income is higher than that, it may not matter. “If they are not getting subsidies it’s their choice what to do,” she says.

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