Obamacare in 2018: How Do I Cancel or Should I Enroll?

Donald Trump dedicated many of the first weeks of his presidency to addressing Obamacare. Supported by the Republicans and armed with seven years of Affordable Care Act criticism, president Trump aimed at calling the whole thing off. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order that would “ease the burden” of Obamacare. The Republican party made several attempts to garner votes in Congress for the ACA replacement, the American Health Care Act. After a year of effort, president Trump squeezed the issue into two sentences in his State of the Union speech.

Trump claimed that the core of the ACA, “forcing tremendous penalties” on individuals and families with less than $50,000 income, was now eliminated. He was referring to the GOP tax bill and one of its key components – the individual mandate repeal.

We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans.  We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.

President Trump’s State of the Union Address

January 30, 2018

The individual mandate imposed a tax penalty if taxpayers didn’t sign up for the healthcare plan. The mandate repeal does speak to millions of unsatisfied insurers: individuals can save $2,085 by not having to pay the penalty and even more, given the $4,328 of deductibles per year before the insurance benefits actually started.  But is it worth it in the long run?

Two main concerns that analysts put upfront are: fewer young and healthy citizens signing up for healthcare plans over the next ten years and higher premiums for those who keep going with ACA coverage. The Congressional Budget Office already estimated that premiums would rise by an additional 10 percent and about 13 million people would lose coverage in the next decade because of these changes.

State administrations have been struggling to attract insurers for years and the mandate repeal will only tighten the knot. As things stand, nearly 4 million Americans will go without insurance in 2019. On the other hand, the changes don’t seem to bother a lot of Americans that already pay their ACA premiums, as only 36% are aware of the repeal and 46% still believe that the mandate exists.


How to cancel Obamacare

There are a number of potential reasons to drop out of the ACA marketplace plan. You may qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, get a new job that offers a better insurance policy or simply get tired with the higher premiums that don’t even grant coverage beyond your state (as stated in most of the negative reviews). In any case, you can log in to your account at www.healthcare.gov, go to “My plans and programs” and click “End/terminate all my plans”.


It’s important to remember that it takes 14 days to review a cancellation. If you can’t find the termination option in your account, the reason may be that your state offers a bunch of insurance policies that are not usually included in the Marketplace. If this applies to you, call your customer line and follow their directions for cancellation.

If you’ve been receiving a tax credit for offsetting the cost of your premium, you may have to pay all or part of it. If your 2017 gross income turned out to be larger than you expected while enrolled, you may be required to pay additional fees.


How to apply for Obamacare after the enrollment period

If you want to apply for 2018 health care coverage at the ACA Marketplace, you can still do it after the enrollment period. ACA allows individuals to hop on board later if you’re getting married, having a baby, in the process of divorcing or legally separated, moving to a new home, starting college, losing job-based coverage or eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. You can check it here. Once you’ve chosen a plan, apply online, by phone, by mail or visit your state’s administration and fill out the enrollment forms.