After some carriers announced they would not continue selling plans post-2016 in some or all areas of Oregon, Oregon’s federal partners required the Marketplace to choose 2017 plans for the affected customers, and to submit those lists of new plans to the team at HealthCare.gov. If the affected consumers—those whose 2016 carrier would not be serving their area in 2017— did not actively enroll in a 2017 plan at their own initiative, these consumers would be automatically enrolled in the plans the Marketplace chose. Our federal partners affirmed that consumers would not be required to effectuate the coverage in the Marketplace-chosen plans and could opt out of the auto-enrollment by logging into their HealthCare.gov accounts and clicking an option to stop the coverage for 2017. The federal partners also state that consumers who don’t want the Marketplace-chosen alternative plan can choose to not pay the premium, at which point the carrier will terminate the coverage as never effective.
*** CMS initially advised that consumers within service areas now discontinued by Moda and PacificSource would not be automatically enrolled in a new plan for 2017; however, this is not the case and those consumers were auto-enrolled.
Potential source of consumer confusion
Some affected consumers (those whose 2016 carrier isn’t available to them in 2017) may have actively chosen a new carrier and plan for 2017, and still been automatically enrolled in a "replacement" plan the Marketplace chose. The consumer may get a welcome packet and premium bill for the carrier and plan that was intended to serve as their coverage only if they did not actively choose another.
The team at HealthCare.gov has affirmed that the plan and carrier actively selected by a consumer will override the auto-enrolled plan, and the actively selected plan will be the true enrollment for the consumer. This is the case even if the consumer receives a welcome packet and premium bill for another plan or carrier. The consumer is under no obligation to pay the premium bill for a plan they did not select and will not use.