Q. If I don’t make changes to my plan and just let it auto-renew for January, am I stuck with it for the rest of the year?
A. Yes, unless you experience a qualifying event later in the year.
If your health plan terminates at the end of 2019 and you’re mapped to a new plan for 2020, you may have a special enrollment period that continues for 60 days after your plan ends (so, until March 1, 2020), during which you can pick from among any of the available options in your area.
But this is limited to situations in which the insurer exited the exchange or the full individual market in your area, or made a major change to plan designs, such as switching everyone from PPOs to HMOs.
Changes to the benefit structure itself would not warrant a special enrollment period. Although there were widespread insurer exits in 2017 and 2018, as well as transitions away from the PPO model, the market was much more stable for 2019, with insurer exits almost non-existent.