What if my individual health insurance plan is changing or being cancelled?

HealthCare.gov, Accessed December 20, 2013

If your insurance company cancels your plan, you have several options:

*  Buy one of the plans the company offers in its place.

*  Buy a new plan in the Marketplace.

*  Buy a plan outside the Marketplace.

Additional option if your plan is cancelled: A catastrophic plan

If your plan has been cancelled and you can’t afford a Marketplace plan to replace it, you can apply for a hardship exemption. This will allow you to buy a catastrophic plan. A catastrophic plan generally requires you to pay all of your medical costs up to a certain amount, usually several thousand dollars. These policies usually have lower premiums than a comprehensive plan, but cover you only if you need a lot of care. They basically protect you from worst-case scenarios.


As the numerous reports in the media indicate, the insurance industry is not particularly pleased with the prospect of a large influx of older and sicker individuals enrolling in the catastrophic plans designed and priced for healthy individuals under age 30. Instability is an inherent characteristic of such a dysfunctional financing system.

This rule modification is simply one more reason why we need to enact a simplified, more affordable, and more effective health care financing system – an improved Medicare for all.