Obamacare's premiums are going down on average in 2015, according to a report released last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and that's good news overall and particularly good news for the federal government that helps pay the premiums for more than 80 percent of enrollees.
But, as always, there is a bit of a catch. Premiums are changing in a way that consumers need to be aware of. The benchmark being used to determine their subsidies under the law is changing in some places -- meaning some people will need to switch to a new plan to keep paying the same premium or they might have to pay more to keep the plan they currently have.
After the keep-your-plan fiasco of last fall, the Obama administration has set up an auto-renew feature for Obamacare enrollees in 2015. The administration has also issued guidance that insurance companies should notify customers that they can shop on the insurance marketplaces for other deals. But the big unknown is: Will they? If enrollees go the auto-renew route without exploring the market, they could be stuck paying more for their coverage.
While this all could create some hiccups during the upcoming enrollment period, it's not a bug. It's part of the law's structure. The government needed some baseline for its subsidies. And that does put a bit of the onus on consumers to make sure they aren't left with a bigger bill. Here's how it works:
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