All of you who enroll into health insurance plans do know about the open enroll period- November 1st, respective year to January 31st, following year. In case you have missed Open Enrollment this year, you must be looking for an alternative.
As Andrew J. Sussman, MD – President, MinuteClinic states,
“More than 50 percent (of our US patients) are effectively medically homeless. Patients did as well or better than those treated in traditional primary care settings, yet cost was 40 to 80 percent lower than in other settings.”
Yes, cost is a major factor that stops us from enrolling to a health coverage scheme. However, the fear looms more if we do not buy a minimum sort of health insurance plan these days. The tax penalty is way more than what we have paid for the health insurance plan. Moreover, if your small family wants to stay tension free, Open Enrollment, 2018 they should not miss anyhow.
Let us concentrate on finding what can be done to buy health insurance plans for 2018 to avoid tax penalty. You should not have missed Open Enrollment 2017 in the first place. Although there are some alternatives that can save huge tax penalties this year, which one suits you best- you need to pick from the following options:
Healthcare benefits through spouse
In case your employer did not buy a group health insurance plan, and your spouse’s employer is buying one. It is better you get an insurance with your spouse and remain free from being taxed.
The main advantage of being in an employer-based health insurance plan is- your spouse pays only half of the total premium. The other half is your employer’s contribution.
Under 26 years- parent’s plan
Are you below 26 years of age. Obamacare allows you to remain under your parent’s healthcare coverage in that case. Make sure to find out your parents have taken dependent coverage. Else, they can always change the plan any time under Special eligibility plans.
Under 26 coverage with parental plan is irrespective of whether you are employed, with children, or married. Of course, if your parent’s plan is employer-based, you need to ensure they provide dependent coverage. Otherwise ask for a change in plan type.
In case you have not got the time to enroll during the Open Enrollment period, there is Special Enrollment under which you can qualify. Please check our blog on Special Enrollment to find the qualifying events that will let you enroll.
Let’s face the truth without feeling low or shy. Some of us are so poor that we cannot afford health insurance plans even after curbing our expenses from all ends. In case you come under the income bracket of 133% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), you are eligible for a low-income health insurance plan called Medicaid. Of course, Mediciad eligibility criteria changes from one state to another. Best thing would be to check your state’s healthcare guide or go to www.medicaid.gov to gather information in details.
Don’t qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, or Special Enrollment
In case you do not qualify for either your parental plans, Medicaid or Special Enrollment, you still need to get yourself covered through some health insurance scheme. You and your family cannot afford to remain uninsured for the entire 2017. Remember, you are calling for serious tax penalties if you remain uninsured. Moreover, illness, injury or accidents can neither predicted nor stalled. Medical treatments in the USA can by sky rocketing, something you can’t handle alone.
Well, there is still some hope left for you. Even when you neither qualify for any of the above mentioned special cases nor have bought your health insurance plans, you can enroll into short term health insurance plans. The short term health insurance plans a have been specially designed to cover up for the gaps between two health insurance enrollments.
That is precisely because your short term health insurance plan can provide coverage under Open Enrollment. A short term insurance does not remain within the scope of Affordable Care Act. Hence STM can neither be renewed nor covers the pre-existing conditions.
While this blog is an attempt to save you from paying heavy tax penalties as you missed Open Enrollment, it does not let you sit idle during your next Open Enrollment, 2018. Things are becoming very strict in the healthcare industry and you should always remain well aware of the time frames and its restrictions of not meeting the required activities.