Outside of the open enrollment period (OEP), the only way to get qualified coverage is with a special enrollment period (SEP) or through an employer. However, not many qualify for an SEP. So, those looking for health coverage without an SEP outside of OEP need to consider short-term medical plans. Though it’s not qualified coverage, short-term plans provide necessary coverage until people can enroll in a qualified plan during OEP. However, the coverage duration for short-term plans has changed as of March 28th.
The last effective date for short-term medical plans, lasting longer than 3 months, was March 28th, which has come and gone. Now, due to government regulations, short-term plans can only last up to 90 days with the first effective date being April 1st. Not only are short-term plans restricted to 3-month periods, but they are also non-renewable. Meaning after three months, short-term policyholders must apply for another plan with another carrier. In addition to not renewing policies, carriers are also not subjected to the healthcare law; in other words, short-term plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions. So if diagnosed with a serious illness while covered under a 3-month short-term plan, coverage for that illness will not be available under a new short-term policy.
Until the next OEP, people will have to jump from one plan to another and from one carrier to another. Then during OEP, they can enroll in a qualified plan that will cover their pre-existing condition for the whole plan year. But until then, contact one of our licensed agents; they’ll help you find the health plan that’s right for you!
For immediate assistance, call us toll-free at (844) 410-1320!