Getting Ready Open Enrollment 2016

Updating your income and household information for 2016

If you’re enrolled in a 2015 Marketplace health care plan, it’s very important to log in to your Marketplace account and update your application with any changes to your income or household for 2016. You can do this starting November 1, 2015.

IMPORTANT

Premium tax credits and other savings are based on your expected income for 2016, not last year’s income.

You should log in to update your information even if you know you want to keep the same plan for 2016.

Why it’s so important to log in and report expected changes for 2016

  • Plans and prices change every year. You may find a new plan that’s more affordable or works better for you, especially if your expected income or household will change.
  • If you don’t update your expected income and household information for 2016, you could wind up with an outdated premium tax credit – or even a health plan you don’t qualify for. That’s why it’s so important to update your Marketplace application with any EXPECTED income and household changes for 2016.
  • If your premium tax credit isn’t based on updated information, you may:
    • Pay a higher premium each month than you need to
    • Have to pay back any advance payment of the premium tax credit you take but don’t qualify for based on your actual 2016 income at the end of the year. You’ll make this payment when you file your federal income taxes.
    • Wind up with coverage you’re not qualified for, like if someone in your household would gain or lose eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP based on an income change you don’t report
    • You can take action as soon as November 1, 2015.

Update your income and household information by December 15, 2015

  • This way any changes to your savings and plan take effect January 1, 2016.
  • You can still change health coverage plans until January 31, 2016. But if you wait you’ll have one plan and premium tax credit starting January 1 and another plan and premium tax credit starting February 1 or March 1. This can disrupt your coverage, care, and household budget.

Common questions

Since Marketplace savings are based on your estimate of your expected income for 2016, be sure to think ahead to changes you expect during the year ahead.

Expected income changes

  • Changes to your expected household income for 2016
    • Be sure to account for expected income changes for any member of your household who has to file taxes, not just yourself. Include their income even if they don’t need coverage.
    • Consider whether anyone in your household is likely to have income changes due to job status -- like getting a raise, increasing or decreasing hours, or changing jobs.
    • Also think about other income you expect in 2016, like a bonus, interest, or retirement income. See all income sources to consider.

Expected changes to health insurance

  • An offer of job-based coverage to anyone in your household, even if they don’t enroll in it
  • Adding or dropping someone in your household to your Marketplace health insurance plan
  • Someone in your household getting coverage from a public program like Medicaid, CHIP, or Medicare

Expected household changes

  • Birth or adoption
  • Divorce or separation
  • Death
  • Placing a child for adoption or foster care
  • A child on your policy turning 26
  • A tax dependent changing status so they’re no longer your tax dependent for 2016
  • Change of your permanent home address
  • For 2015 coverage: You can update your information for the current year anytime during the year.
  • For 2016 coverage: Update your Marketplace application as soon as November 1, 2015.
 
 

Ready to obtain the right health insurance? Check your eligibility for free or low cost health insurance through the marketplace in 4 simple steps...