Michigan: Chalk up 3 more QHP enrollees at HC.gov...

2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)

Time: D H M S

Yup, my wife and I went ahead and manually renewed our own private healthcare policy via HC.gov this morning here in the Wolverine State. We had already used the window shopping/browsing feature ("See Plans & Prices") and determined that in our case, sticking with the same plan through the same company made the most sense for us.

Now, here's where things get interesting: For 2014 we qualified for a small tax credit. For 2015, while our projected taxable income is expected to be pretty much identical to what we had projected a year earlier, our tax credit went up by $61 per month.

The policy itself also did go up by $93/month, but due to our tax credit also increasing, our net cost ends up being just $32/month more. Don't get me wrong, I'm not thrilled about having to pay $384/year more on top of what's already a pretty steep rate, but the point is that for some people, their tax credits are increasing next year (ie, meaning a lower net premium increase than the official rate increase would indicate).

For many people, unfortunately, keeping the exact same policy will result in a lower tax credit--and thus a higher corresponding net monthly premium--on top of whatever the full-price rate increase may be.

This is why, once again, EVERYONE should SHOP AROUND BEFORE MONDAY (or the 18th for Maryland, the 20th for New York or the 23rd for MA, ID, RI & WA), even if you expect your household size, income and other factors to stay exactly the same in 2015. You may still end up paying more--or less--than you thought if you blindly autorenew without at least taking a look.