I have had plenty to say over the past several weeks regarding the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Window. In short if you do not enroll before the end of March you WILL NOT be able to enroll in a ACA Compliant Major Medical plan at all. But what happens once this enrollment window closes?
Unless you are one of the people who will have what is called a qualifying Life Event you will not be able to enroll in any Metal plan until the next Open Enrollment period. There are many reasons why people will not enroll, some it will be the cost, others it may because they simply did not pay attention to all this, some will postpone because they anticipated employment with a company that was offering benefits – who really knows. But once it closes you have few choices for coverage.
Assurant Health Offers Options
Your health plan choices will also vary from state to state. In most states companies like Assurant Health will be offering a “Short Term” health plans to help fill the gap in time that will occur between Open Enrollment periods. In most states these Short Term plans are available for up to 180 consecutive days of coverage. In some states coverage will be available up to 360 days of consecutive coverage and in these states you should be able to cover the entire time coverage will be needed until the next enrollment period opens.
Short term plans have been around for a long time but in years past they typically were used to cover gaps of coverage that lasted 60-90 days. This was because this usually met the waiting periods of new employees going to work in a new job. Short term plans can still be used for employee waiting periods but I think we will see an increase in use to fill gaps between enrollment periods.
Decide If Short Term Coverage Right For You…
Short Term Medical coverage isn’t right for everybody. To decide if it is right for you, think about the benefits you value and conditions you want to cover. To secure specific benefits, such as maternity care, and gain coverage for conditions you already have you will want to enroll in a major medical plan now while you still can. Major Medical plans incorporate full health care reform benefits, often referred to as the Metal Plans.
Short term plans are designed to cover unexpected illnesses and injuries, they are not designed to cover pre-existing conditions you already have. In general a pre-existing condition is defined as a condition that has been diagnosed or treated, or for which you experience signs or symptoms, during the five years immediately prior to the date of your Short Term Medical plan begins.
Not Minimum Essential Coverage…
Short Term Medical is not considered minimum essential coverage. That means if you insure yourself with Short Term Medical instead of a metallic plan that meets ACA reform requirements, you may have to pay a tax penalty, depending on your income and the cost of available metallic plans.
Short Term Medical Plans Pay For
- Unexpected sicknesses
- Unexpected injuries
Short Term Medical Does Not Pay For
- Preventive and routine medical care
- Dental and vision care
- Maternity care
- Mental Health
- Conditions that existed before the plan began
Short Term Plan Options
- Deductible between $1,000 and $5,000
- 100%/0% Coinsurance
- 80%/20% Coinsurance
- 50%/50% Coinsurance
Still Not Too Late to Enroll…
Having the knowledge that if for some reason you do not enroll in one the Affordable Care Act Compliant Plans before the enrollment period closes, you can feel somewhat confident that you at least a fall back option. But until March 31, 2014 you still have time to enroll. Take a moment and check out the rates from Assurant Health and see if they can meet your needs. Enroll online in minutes and receive your complete policy fulfillment via your email. If you would like a personalized quote to be emailed to you simply complete the form below.
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