Important Deadline for Short-Term Medical Insurance
For those who do not have a qualified health plan or any health insurance, you can still get insurance. Until March 28th (only one week away!), short term medical is available for the remainder of 2017. If you’re currently without insurance, then you need to get short term medical now so that you’re covered until December 31st. After March 28th, you can only get an April 1st effective date. According to the government, once April 1st passes you can only buy short-term medical for three months at a time.
There’s two main reasons why it’s imperative to purchase short-term coverage that extends to the end of the year versus three months.
1. Continuous Coverage
A three-month short-term plan does not ensure continuous coverage. If you need coverage and are currently without, then make sure it lasts until the next open enrollment. It’s critical to maintain continuous coverage. For instance, if something happens (i.e. really bad accident, cancer, heart attack, stroke, etc.), you are protected until the next open enrollment period (OEP). Then during OEP, you can get a qualified health plan. With a qualified plan, you’ll be covered throughout the next year.
2. Only One Application
Again, after April 1st, you can only purchase coverage for three months at a time. Every three months you have to reapply with a different carrier. Keep in mind that short-term medical plans is not qualified coverage. Since it’s not qualified, it’s are not bound by the law. As such, they do not have to cover pre-existing conditions. So if, for example, you get cancer during the three-months you have a short-term medical plan, then the cancer becomes a pre-existing condition the next time you apply for three-month coverage. Whatever medications or treatments needed for your hypothetical cancer will no longer be covered; once the three months are up, all medical expenses for your pre-existing cancer will be out-of-your pocket.
If you can’t get a qualified health plan now because you don’t have a special enrollment, then you need an unqualified health plan. It will cover you to the end of the year, but you have to get it as soon as possible. March 28th is the last effective date before of the new rule kicks in. Meaning, after the March 28th deadline, coverage may only be purchased in three-month increments. Contact an agent today to enroll in a short-term medical plan before the deadline!
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