Open Enrollment for individual health insurance is over for 2017.
Every year we hear from people who need health insurance outside of Open Enrollment. In certain circumstances you can qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period,” but otherwise Obamacare will not be an option.
So what can you do?
For many people, a short-term health insurance plan is the best option. In fact, a short-term health insurance plan will provide you with good catastrophic coverage (think: safety net) at a much lower price than you’ll find on Obamacare (without subsidies).
Here are a few quick facts you need to know about short-term health insurance:
- Short-term health insurance is good catastrophic coverage. You’re covered in case something unexpected and big happens, and isn’t that the point of insurance anyway?
- Short-term health insurance won’t give you much before the deductible. The plan we typically recommend provides a $50 copay for an urgent care visit, but otherwise you’re going to pay for healthcare before the deductible.
- You can choose from a wide rage of deductibles — from $500 to $7500. Most people shoot the middle with $2500 or $5000 deductible.
- Short-term plans will not cover pre-existing conditions. If you have certain pre-existing conditions, you won’t be eligible to get coverage at all.
- Short-term health plans do not satisfy the “individual mandate” of Obamacare, so you could wind up paying a fine on your taxes for not having an Obamacare-compliant health plan.
- Did we mention that short-term health insurance is usually much cheaper than Obamacare plans?
It’s not for everyone, but short-term health insurance is better than nothing. Most importantly, it will give you the safety net you really need in case something big (and expensive) happens with your health.