Currently, talk about healthcare reform dominates the news. Questions and concerns arise as people speculate whether or not the current administration will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Though the house has passed their version of the new healthcare bill – the American Health Care Act – the Senate must now decide to pass it or devise their own version. If the latter, it may go back to the house. It’ll likely be a long and bumpy road before there is a new healthcare bill in effect.
So when or if the government passes a new bill, Obamacare remains the law. This means that, yes, the penalty still applies. Therefore, it is not advised to drop qualified health coverage through Obamacare even if it is expensive. Doing so will make you subject to the penalty at the end of the year when you file your taxes. With that being said, you have until November 1 to December 15 to enroll in a qualified health plan for 2018. If you fail to get enroll during this time, then you must have a special enrollment period. Because again, qualified coverage is the only way to avoid the penalty.
Even though a qualified health plan means no penalty, sometimes circumstances make it difficult to get a qualified plan. So if you miss the open enrollment period or you don’t qualify for a special enrollment period, don’t worry; you can still get health coverage. There are other options available on the market other than Obamacare. There are short-term medical plans for instance. Recently, an insurance company released a new short-term medical plan that provides coverage for up to a year. There are also fixed indemnity plans that work well for many consumers. Both short-term plans and fixed indemnities are great options if you fail to get a qualified plan; they’ll see you through until Open Enrollment when you can get a qualified plan.
Contact an Agent!
With changes being made to the individual market and a possible repeal underway, you should contact an agent. An agent will help you navigate this ever-changing industry. They’ll advise you on your coverage options whether that’s a qualified plan, a short-term plan, or a fixed indemnity. Lastly, the marketplace continues to experience rate increases and carriers exiting. As plans grow more expensive, an agent can also help you find a new plan or package supplements to cover your out-of-pocket expenses.
Since insurance is oftentimes overwhelmingly confusing, we want to shed light on this industry by answering YOUR questions. So if you have any questions or concerns, comment below and your question may be the topic of our next video!
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