Most people currently in HealthCare.gov plans, which were sold in 36 states, will be automatically re-enrolled unless they make a switch, such as choosing another plan sold on the exchange.
HHS and Obamacare advocates have been repeatedly urging current customers to not assume that their current plan will be the one that best fits their needs or pocketbook for 2015. That is particularly true because about 85 percent of customers receive subsidies to help buy insurance, subsidies which can dramatically reduce the actual amount of money people have to pay for coverage. Those subsidies are determined by a complicated formula that is tied to the price of the second-least expensive "silver" plan sold in a person's area on the exchange. Silver plans cover about 70 percent of health costs.
A change in the benchmark plan's price can affect the amount of subsidies that people receive for their own plans—even if a person's income doesn't change.
"What's really important is for consumers to go back online to the marketplace, or talk to a broker or an assister, and see how this affects you," said Cynthia Cox, an analyst as the Kaiser Family Foundation.
On Friday afternoon, the federal government released data files showing all Obamacare plan rates, and out-of-pocket cost limits.
"Today's data provide further evidence that the Affordable Care Act is working to improve competition and choice among marketplace plans in 2015," said Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. "Consumers should shop around, with new options available this year they're likely to find a better deal."
CMS said that the data show "that new, lower-cost plans are available this year and premiums are remaining stable." However, CMS did not release an analysis about how prices have changed, on average, from 2014's prices, and it doesn't reflect the impact of subsidies.
In addition, subsidies offered by HealthCare.gov are being threatened by a legal challenge that the Supreme Court will hear in the coming months. Plaintiffs in that case claim the subsidies are illegal because of the argument that the ACA only allows customers of state-run exchanges to receive financial aid, not those who buy insurance from the federal exchange.
For now, the subsidies remain available to people nationwide, if they have low or moderate incomes. The Obama administration is contesting the Supreme Court challenge.