The 2019 Open Enrollment Period officially ended Saturday, December 15, for most states. his period has come and gone, and recently, a Texas judge ruled the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. You probably have questions on how you can enroll in health plans–and whether this court decision affects you.
Fortunately, Colorado and California has extended open enrollment through January 15, 2019, although certain restrictions do apply. Most other states have kept their enrollment period deadline at December 15, with Massachusetts extending theirs to January 23, 2019, and Washington D.C. to January 31, 2019.
Even with the extended period in those states, December 15 was the last date to receive an effective date of January 1, 2019.
For those interested in making changes to their current plan, a special enrollment period may also apply to your situation. Note that the recent court decision will not affect coverage or options afforded to you.
Did you miss the December 15th deadline for making policy changes or getting a new policy started? You’re able to get a short term plan as late as December 31st and still have coverage effective January 1st, giving you time to get something more permanent in place.
Much like regular insurance policies, these provide benefits for a preset length of time. Depending on the plan, you can get coverage for as little as 30 days or any specific period provided it’s less than 12 months. This an excellent choice if you’re transitioning between plans or want an option that’s not mandated by an open enrollment period.
Enrollees will realize the flexibility and affordability these plans have almost immediately. With hardship exemptions to tax penalties and premiums you can afford, get a quote or learn more about short-term plans by visiting our Short-Term Insurance page.
Healthshare Plans Have No Open Enrollment Period
Considerably more affordable than ACA plans, health care sharing plans offer an option of paying for health care costs without ACA mandates.
As these are administered by health care sharing ministries (HCSMs), restrictions do apply; however, the benefits of this plan type far outweigh the small stipulations put on acceptance. Your monthly contribution to health share plans are less than half of what you’d pay in regular insurance premiums.
Popular plans include:
- MPowering and Sedera, which combine health savings accounts with healthshare plans;
- Altrua Healthshare;
- AlieraCare; and
Unless you choose an ACA-exempt plan, you must provide proof of insurance when filing your 2018 taxes. I encourage everyone who may have missed the open enrollment period to consider these options to maximize savings and allow yourself some breathing room in out-of-pocket health costs in 2019.
Special Enrollment Period
The special enrollment period applies to individuals with a qualifying life event. According to HealthCare.gov, the following events must have happened in your household within the last 60 days to qualify:
- Got married;
- Adopted a baby, placed a child in foster care, or had a child of your own;
- Became legally separated or divorced and lost health insurance;
- An individual on your plan died; and
- Changes in household address, including moving into a new county or zip code, moving to U.S. from another territory outside the U.S., and moving to or from transitional housing.
Other stipulations or changes can be discussed with your personal benefits manager here at HSA for America.
Contact your personal benefits manager (PBM) by phone at 1-800-913-0172 to discuss what options work best for your situation, and what missing the open enrollment period means.
I’ve been a long time advocate for health insurance savings. I’m always willing to help anyone figure out the best way to save money on their health insurance. I also love living in Colorado in the Fort Collins area. What a great state to live in!