Why Must I Pay Marketplace Insurance Premiums on Time?

Feb. 10, 2014


Some people who sign up for coverage with one of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) health insurance marketplace plans are unfamiliar with how health insurance works. For example, some don't realize why it's very important to pay health insurance premiums on time. This week's installment of Texas Medical Association's (TMA's) "Hey, Doc" weekly education campaign answers that question.

Note to media: TMA makes this content available for you to reference or publish. Also, TMA physician experts are available to answer your questions. And every Wednesday, TMA posts a new video featuring TMA Board of Trustees Chair Carlos "Hey, Doc" Cardenas, MD.Check out TMA's video series and a lot more atMeAndMyDoctor.com andHeyDoc.texmed.org.

TMA's 18th week of "Hey, Doc" education programming

Why is it important to pay my marketplace insurance premium on time?

Remember that when you buy your insurance, you pay a set monthly fee, called a premium, to make sure it's there for you when you need it. But for your insurance to actually work, you have to pay that premium on time. If you don't, you could be responsible for paying your entire health care bill out of your own pocket. Not paying your premiums on time also means you could miss out on other financial help for your medical bills. (See "What are the subsidies?")

Step one is signing up for an insurance plan, but understand that having a marketplace insurance ID card does not mean you have active insurance coverage unless you pay your premiums. Once you sign up, your insurance company will tell you when your payment is due. It will usually be the same time each month, depending on when you first signed up. Most health plans also offer different ways to pay your premiums, like by check or by money order, or by mail or by automatic payments.

What's next for TMA's "Hey, Doc" report:

Week of Feb. 17: What is my marketplace insurance ID card for? What do I do if I didn't get one?

Week of Feb. 24: My doctor can't get a straight answer from my insurance company. How can I make sure I can use this insurance?

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. 


Contact: Pam Udall
phone:(512) 370-1382
cell: (512) 413-6807

Pam Udall  

Contact: Brent Annear
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320

Brent Annear  

Click here to follow TMA on Twitter. Or visit TMA on Facebook. 

Check out MeAndMyDoctor.com for interesting and timely news on health care issues and policy.