The health insurance plans you buy through HealthCare.gov cover you for one year, as long as you continue paying the premium. The plan year, as it is called, is the same as the calendar year. Your current year coverage ends Dec. 31 and you must renew your current plan or choose a new one to stay covered through HealthCare.gov.
The deadline to sign up for 2019 coverage is Dec. 15, 2018.
Plans and premiums - the price you pay for coverage each month - can change from one year to the next, so it is smart to shop each year. You might choose to stay with your current plan, or you might decide another plan better fits your needs and budget.
If you do nothing until shortly before the deadline, HealthCare.gov will automatically re-enroll you in a your current plan, if it is still available. If your current plan is not available and you have not enrolled in a different one, HealthCare.gov will enroll you in one that is similar. However, do not wait to be automatically re-enrolled. Your current plan may no longer suit your needs, and it may cost more than a better option. It’s better to actively shop and enroll before the deadline.
It is also important to update HealthCare.gov with your current income and family information, such as the number of people in your household, and any new offer of coverage through a job. Updating that information helps make sure you receive the right amount of financial help.