What if healthcare.gov doesn't work? What can I do?

The deadline for getting health insurance coverage in place on January 1, 2014, is about two weeks away. And most people are still having trouble getting through the government’s web portal to enroll in the subsidized plans.
If you’re unable to get through the healthcare.gov portal to get coverage, and if you can’t afford the premium prices without the subsidies (assuming you’re eligible), our suggestion is that you buy a short-term health insurance plan. Here’s why:

  • Short-term policies are cheaper than the “permanent” or “renewable” policies you’ll find on (or off) the government exchange in 2014.
  • Short-term policies require very little underwriting. There are a few yes/no questions – let us know if you have any concerns about this. The application takes less than 5 minutes.
  • You can have coverage in place tomorrow. Online fulfillment makes the process a breeze.
  • You can cancel the policy at any time. The idea for us here is that you can put this plan in place as a safety net while you’re still waiting to make it through the healthcare.gov maze. Once that is done and your new plan takes effect, you can drop the short-term health policy.

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This strategy won’t work for everyone, and it’s not a perfect solution. Pre-existing conditions won’t be covered, and you won’t get many “first-dollar” benefits for doctor office visits or whatnot (you will get a copay at an urgent care center, something like Doctor’s Care). But a short-term policy will give you a safety net to protect you against catastrophic costs ( you can choose a deductible between $1,000 and $7,500), which is really the main point of insurance anyway.
But if you’ve not been able to make it through the government health insurance website to get a subsidy, and you can’t afford an Obamacare plan without it, this is a good option to put in place until you can get something else in place.
(This is also a nice option if you just don’t want to bother with Obamacare due to cost or principle or whatnot).

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As always, we invite you to contact us if you want to talk more about short-term health insurance and find out if it’s a good fit for you.