Can I get health insurance outside open enrollment?

Many people have been surprised to learn that individual health insurance plans must be purchased during open enrollment. What!?!Can I get health insurance outside open enrollment?
And open enrollment already ended for the year.

So what can you do if you need health insurance outside open enrollment? Here’s what we recommend:

The Best Solution: Short-Term Health Insurance

A short-term health insurance policy will provide catastrophic, major-medical coverage to protect you against exorbitant medical expenses. And that’s the main point of insurance, right?

You typically won’t get a lot of features like office visit copays and preventative care. But the coverage includes:

  • 100% coverage of costs after your deductible. (These can be anywhere from $500 – $7500.)
  • Standard health insurance coverages including hospitals, outpatient centers, doctors, and prescription drugs.
  • Reduced pricing when you stay in the plan’s network.
  • A $50 copay at an urgent care center. (This is a feature of the plan most of our clients purchase).
  • Next day effective dates. No open enrollment periods – you could have this in place tomorrow.

And the best part: Short-term health insurance is usually much more affordable than traditional health insurance.

See for yourself:

Is there a downside to short-term health insurance?

If short-term health insurance was perfect, everyone would buy it, right? Here are a few things you need to know:

  • Short-term health insurance is not ACA-compliant. You won’t get out of the fine for not participating in Obamacare.
  • Pre-existing conditions are not covered.
  • Some people won’t be able to get a short-term coverage. There are certain pre-existing conditions (like diabetes) that would make it impossible to get coverage.
  • Preventive care is not covered.
  • Maternity coverage is not included.

If short-term health insurance is not an option for you, what can do (other than getting a job with benefits)?

Even Cheaper Alternatives to Obamacare

These suggestions will help people who can’t get a short-term health insurance plan or are looking for an even cheaper option. They are also very effective policies to have alongside a short-term plan:

  • Telemedicine. Whether you have insurance or not, you can get a consultation with a doctor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone or video conference. All without a copay.
  • Accident insurance. These plans pay a lump sum if you have to receive treatment resulting from an accident. If you have insurance, this could help you meet your deductible, and if you don’t have insurance this might be even more valuable!
  • A Gap Plan. These plans are designed to help people meet their out-of-pocket costs in an Obamacare health insurance policy. But they can do the same thing for a short-term policy. If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll find these to be far better than nothing!

 

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