If you miss a monthly premium payment, your insurance will enter a grace period. A grace period gives you time to catch up on your payments. If you don’t catch up on payments during your grace period, your insurance will end. If your insurance ends, you won't be able to enroll in a qualified health plan until the next Open Enrollment, unless you have a qualifying event.
If you have a qualified health plan and get financial help, you have up to three months of grace. If you don't get financial help, your grace period is one month. If you’re not sure if you get financial help, check your monthly invoice from your insurance company, or call Vermont Health Connect at 1-855-899-9600 to check.
Your grace period will start as soon as you miss a monthly premium payment due date. Premium payments must be postmarked by the last day of each month. It's a good idea to pay your premium earlier in the month so you aren't late.
If you start a grace period, your health insurance company will send you a letter to let you know. You will get letters for each month you're in a grace period.
To end a grace period, you must pay everything you owe. This includes your overdue balance in full, plus the current premium that is due.
For example: John did not pay his premium for September. He needed to postmark his September premium by the last day of August—and he did not do that. In September, he got a notice from his insurance company telling him he is in a grace period. His invoice shows he owes premium payments for both September and October. He is now in the first month of his grace period. To get out of the grace period, he must pay his premium for both September and October. His premium payment must be postmarked by the last day of September to get out of his grace period.
If you get financial help, your grace period can last up to three months:
- Month 1: After you miss your first monthly payment due date, you enter your first month of grace. During this month, you can still use your insurance.
- Month 2: During your second month of grace, you can't use your insurance. You must pay the full cost of your medical care.
- Month 3: This is the final month of your grace period. You must pay everything you owe to get out of the grace period, including the overdue balance and the current balance. If you don't pay, your insurance will end. The end date will be the last day of the first month of your grace period.
- Your insurance will end even if you make a partial payment—you must pay everything you owe, including the current month’s bill, to close a grace period.