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You Missed Open Enrollment, Now What?

It’s a sinking feeling many people have had — the open enrollment period for health insurance has ended, and they forgot insurance to purchase a plan for the year. If you missed open enrollment and are now in need of a health insurance plan, ClaimLinx is here for you. There are still options out there for employees, and especially employers.  

 

The 2020 Open Enrollment period for the individual marketplace through Healthcare.gov was November 1st, 2019 to December 15, 2020. Some states, especially those that do not use Helathcare.gov have extended enrollment periods, but most finish by the beginning of February. For future reference, Open Enrollment is on the same dates each year, unless specific extensions are made.

If you did not enroll during this time, individuals can still qualify for a Special Enrollment Period with a Qualifying Life Event. Aside from this option, short-term plans are available throughout the year. They are not perfect, but they are a great alternative to having no coverage at all. 

 

Special Enrollment, or a Qualifying Life Event 

Some people may quаlіfу for a ѕресіаl enrollment реriod to ѕіgn uр fоr hеаlth іnѕurаnсе. Certain lіfе еvеntѕ, lіkе lоѕіng hеаlth соvеrаgе, moving, getting married or a change in income can trіggеr a special enrollment period, which lasts up tо 60 dауѕ. Lіfе changes thаt quаlіfу fоr a special еnrоllmеnt реrіоd gеnеrаllу fаll into three саtеgоrіеѕ: сhаngеѕ in thе household, сhаngеѕ in residence оr losing hеаlth іnѕurаnсе.

 

Qualifying сhаngеѕ іn hоuѕеhоld саn іnсludе:

  • Getting mаrrіеd
  • Hаvіng a bаbу оr adopting a child
  • Getting divorced оr legally ѕераrаtеd аnd losing health іnѕurаnсе
  • Hаvіng ѕоmеоnе in your hоuѕеhоld dіе

 

Qualifying changes in residence саn іnсludе:

  • Moving to a new home in a new ZIP соdе оr county
  • Moving tо thе U.S. from a fоrеіgn country
  • If уоu’rе a student, moving to or from the рlасе you attend school
  • If уоu’rе a ѕеаѕоnаl wоrkеr, mоvіng to or frоm thе рlасе уоu lіvе аnd work
  • Moving to or from a ѕhеltеr or trаnѕіtіоnаl hоuѕіng

 

Qualifying lоѕѕеѕ of health аvеrаgе іnсludе:

  • Lоѕіng jоb-bаѕеd соvеrаgе
  • Losing individual hеаlth coverage
  • Lоѕіng eligibility for Mеdісаіd or CHIP
  • Lоѕіng eligibility fоr Medicare
  • Lоѕіng соvеrаgе thrоugh a family mеmbеr

 

Short-Term Health Insurance Plans

These are a special type of plan that can be purchased when a person is between health plans, outside of open enrollment. Short-Term Health Insurance plans provide temporary coverage for certain situations and can be a chance for some coverage in case of emergency. 

Short-term plans come with a wide range of coverages because they are not required to comply with Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines. That means they typically include some coverage for preventative care, doctors visits, urgent care and emergency care. It may also have some discounts on prescription drugs. But because it is not an ACA plan, be sure to read the plan limitations before enrolling on a plan. That will tell you what is covered and can help you decide if it’s the right coverage for you. 

You can shop for a short-term plan now by going to the ClaimLinx marketplace. On the site, you can request a quote and someone will reach out to you to talk about your options. 

 

What Happens Without Health Insurance

As of January 1, 2019, there is no tax penalty for not having a health insurance plan. Technically the individual mandate is still in effect but there is no penalty to enforce it. So it may seem to some like going without health insurance is not a big deal. After all, health insurance plans are expensive and if you don’t use many medical services through the year, it can feel like a waste. 

Health insurance is still important to have, for all those unforeseen moments. No one expects to need their insurance plan. People buy it every year because there’s always a chance that an accident, or even a small medical issue, could cause huge financial damage. 

Shop for a health insurance plan at any time at ClaimLinxMarketplace.com. You can purchase short-term plans or, if you qualify for a special enrollment period, you can also take a look at plans through a regular carrier.