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Health Plans Won’t be Able To Drop Individuals From Coverage

Insuring Your Health columnist Michelle Andrews helps you navigate the new insurance marketplaces that are scheduled to launch on Oct. 1.

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Q: When a consumer enrolls in a marketplace plan is it for a year of coverage or longer? Can an insurer drop a consumer?

A: As long as you keep up with your insurance premiums and don’t lie on your application for insurance by claiming that you’re younger than you really are, for example, your insurer can’t drop you.

Generally, people will be able to enroll in or change plans once a year during the annual open enrollment period. This first year, open enrollment on the exchanges will run for six months, from Oct. 1 through March of next year. But in subsequent years the time period will be shorter, just a few months long.

There are certain circumstances when people will be able to change plans or add or drop someone from coverage outside the regular annual enrollment period. This could happen if you lose your job, for example, or get married, divorced or have a child.

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