Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — Americans can save money by shopping for new health insurance plans through Obamacare, U.S. officials said, in a push to keep people from getting surprised by bigger bills when the coverage they have now through the program renews automatically.

Of the 765,135 people who applied for insurance during the two weeks starting Nov. 15, about half were customers who had coverage this year through the marketplaces created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As a result, millions of people will be renewed in their current plans. The deadline to change plans or pick a new one is Dec. 15 for coverage that starts in January.

Not switching could be costly. More than 7 in 10 people who have insurance through the marketplaces can get the same level of coverage for less if they shop around, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said today in a report. If all returning customers bargain-shopped for a new plan, they could save more than $2 billion on premiums, according to the report.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.