Health Coverage In Between Open Enrollment Period

Seems there are daily changes taking place in ObamaCare/ACA so it is no wonder there is so much confusion surrounding the purchase of  health insurance.  Even the WI Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) is not totally correct with their press release this morning:

The second deadline is March 31, 2014, which is when ACA open enrollment ends. Health insurance applications submitted between March 16, 2014, and March 31, 2014, will have an effective date of May 1, 2014. If you don’t enroll by March 31, 2014, you may not be able to purchase private health insurance until the next open enrollment period starts. The only way you can buy a health plan outside open enrollment is if you qualify for a special enrollment period. The next open enrollment period will be November 15, 2014, to February 15, 2015.

The bold statement in the OCI quote above is not accurate and I called to let OCI know this morning.  They agreed with my point, said they would review it but may or may not correct it.

Private insurance companies still offer private health insurance for sale and it does not have to be purchased on the government exchange.  By law it is true an insurance company can not sell an “Obamacare qualified health plan” after March 31st.

If the ACA enrollment deadline is missed there is a short term solution.  One section of the health insurance market not affected are short term or temporary health insurance policies.  These policies are designed for people who for whatever reason need medical insurance on a temporary basis.  Temporary polices are not “qualified” so people carrying one would be subject to the Obamacare  tax penalty.  Those who purchase temporary health insurance policies should carefully read what is not covered, for example preexisting condition are usually not covered.  New health conditions occurring after the effective date are covered.

Check out short term medical coverage and premiums here –

Short term policies can be purchased for one month or up to a year and can be renewed for a second year.  There are no networks, an insured can go to any doctor or medical facility.

Some early retirees without major health issues are using short term medical policies to fill the gap from their retirement date to their Medicare eligibility date.

It is advisable to carry qualified coverage when you can.