How to Buy Health Insurance Today

As a consumer, tough open enrollment has ended in most states; you can purchase health coverage today. Every individual needs health coverage, the mere fact that your reading this article establishes this. The one thing you need to know about health coverage is that you may be able to enrol today, but your health coverage may take time to come into effect.

When will the health coverage come into effect under different types of insurance?

Under the ACA – compliant market, private plans can only have first of the month effective dates, with the exception of new babies and newly adopted children. If you enrol under open enrollment, your coverage won’t start until the beginning of the year.

But plans that aren’t regulated by ACA can offer an effective date as soon as a day after you apply. Medicaid can backup your effective date to the start of the month in which you apply, or even earlier in many states. Your effective date depends on the type of coverage you choose not on when you apply.

So what type of coverage offers effective date ASAP?

  1. The Short – term fix: As the name suggests this type of coverage is temporary and allowed to remain in force for up to 364 days as per new federal regulation. This insurance plan offers the fastest route to having some coverage in place; you can purchase this plan at any time during the year. This means once you purchase is approved by underwriting process – you would have coverage in place by next business day.

However, these plans are not covered by ACA –compliant but still can provide protection from catastrophic medical expenses. Short- term fix is apt for those customers who have to wait for days or weeks or month before their coverage takes effect on the purchase of ACA-Compliant plan. People sign up for this plan to bridge the gap between signing up and having coverage in effect.

  1. ACA – Compliant Coverage: Millions of Americans are determined to purchase this health plan because it is comprehensive and affordable, which is made possible by premium and cost-sharing subsidies. Under this plan, your wait for effective coverage depends on whether you have a qualifying event unless you are Native American. In both these cases, you can enrol today, but you will have to wait before your coverage takes effect.

Typically if you enrol for this plan during the first fifteen days of the month, your coverage will take effect from the first day of the next month, and for enrollments did after 15th won’t take effect until the first of the following month.

And for those who do not have a qualifying event, will be eligible for a special enrolment period and will be able to buy a plan that puts coverage in force before Jan 1st. It is important that you note, in many cases, you are only eligible for special enrolment period if you already have some minimum essential coverage in place before the qualifying event. Further, if you do not qualify for a special enrolment period you will have wait for open enrolment which takes happens from November 1st to December 15th ( in most states) to buy coverage, this coverage will not come into effect until January 1st.

  1. Enrol in Medicaid if you are eligible.

Living in a state that has accepted ACA’s medical expansion makes you eligible for enrolling under Medicaid plan, provided you earn up to 138 per cent of the federal poverty limit. Medicaid can be enrolled year around. The best part being, on your application being successful the coverage comes into effect from the date of application or the first day of the month that the person applies.

Most states still have three months retroactive coverage period for people who would have otherwise been eligible in the month before their application. So, this means those who are qualified and had neglected to enrol for whatever reason; your state may allow you to enrol and have coverage up to three months before the date you apply. Since your eligibility and ACA subsidies depend on your income and federal poverty level, online FPL calculators help you in determining it.

In addition to this Children‘s Health Insurance enrollment is also available year- round, and eligibility extends to higher income level than Medicaid.

Updated: June 6, 2019 — 11:14 am

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