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Ask the Health Insurance Expert

My new employer said that I would automatically be enrolled in health insurance. At other jobs I have always had to sign up myself. Is it true the employer can do it for me?

Yes, it's true. While most employers leave it up to the employee to sign up, once eligible, for health insurance benefits some employers make use of auto-enrollment. 

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However, with the adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it should become commonplace for employees to be automatically enrolled in their employer’s health insurance plan. 

Section 1511 of the ACA says that employers that have more than 200 full-time employees  and that are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act should automatically enroll new full-time employees in one of the employer’s health benefits plans (subject to the company’s waiting period), and to continue the enrollment of current employees in health plans.

Not all employers are yet doing this because the Department of Labor has said that until regulations are issued on this, employers are not yet required to comply.

Even when you are automatically enrolled in a job-based health insurance plan, you should be given the option to change plans (if your employer offers more than one type) or de-enroll if you so desire. 

Laws require adequate notice and the opportunity for an employee to opt out of any coverage for which the employee was automatically enrolled.

If you have questions about what plan you’ll be enrolled in, and how to make changes if you want, contact your company’s health plan administrator.

Last updated: Jul. 15, 2014
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