Since special enrollment periods only last for a very short time, it’s important that individuals become familiar with how special enrollment periods work and know what their options are.
(PRWEB) May 06, 2014
ColoHealth has announced it will offer short-term medical plans as an alternative form of health coverage for many Coloradans who remain uninsured now that the open enrollment period for 2014 Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage has ended.
Because health plans cannot be sold after the open enrollment period ends, there are few options for health coverage aside from qualifying for a special enrollment period (SEP).
Short-Term Medical Plans Offer Temporary Protection
Short-term plans offered through ColoHealth are described as providing temporary insurance coverage for up to six months. According to ColoHealth President Wiley Long, “Short-term plans are an exceptional alternative to going without coverage until the next open enrollment period begins November 15, 2014.”
Short-term plans are typically less expensive than traditional plans, and an individual can apply for another short-term plan after his or her first plan expires. A variety of deductible options are also available.
Special Enrollment Periods Require Qualifying Events
Life events such as change in marital status, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of current insurance will qualify for the ACA’s special enrollment period, which typically lasts for 60 days from the qualifying event.
ColoHealth is offering its free service to assist consumers during special enrollment periods, and will advise them of other options to bridge gaps in coverage as well. Individuals and families will also be eligible to apply for premium subsidies during an SEP, a process ColoHealth will also help with.
“Since special enrollment periods only last for a very short time, it’s important that individuals become familiar with how special enrollment periods work and know what their options are,” explains Long.
“We make it a priority to provide access to insurance coverage to everyone, whether they qualify for a special enrollment period or not,” Long continues. “Short-term health plans will be key for individuals who don’t qualify for an SEP.”
Penalties vs. Premiums
Because short-term plans do not meet the standards for “minimal essential coverage” according to the ACA, you could still face a tax penalty of $95 or 1 percent of your adjusted gross income despite having a short-term plan in place.
According to Long, even taking this penalty into account it could still come out to be much less expensive than paying a year’s worth of premiums on a traditional health plan.
Long goes on to say that most policyholders who had their plans cancelled in 2013 could qualify for an exemption to the tax penalty and should take the necessary steps to apply for such an exemption.
Additional Benefits Offered
ColoHealth also offers additional money-saving tools to help lessen the burden of costly medical care, including discounts for labs and imaging, prescription drug discounts, supplemental accident plans, and even a telemedicine option.
The next open enrollment period for Colorado is scheduled to begin November 15, 2014, and run through February 15, 2015. ColoHealth will continue to inform Coloradans about special enrollment periods and all the options available to them through the beginning of the next open enrollment period.
As a leading independent health insurance expert, ColoHealth has helped many Coloradans gain insurance coverage and transition through the changes that have come along with the Affordable Care Act.
ColoHealth’s goal is to make sure all Coloradans have insurance coverage that will help ensure their financial stability and promote a healthy lifestyle.
ColoHealth also makes it a priority to keep their clients informed of the continued changes associated with health care reform and how those changes affect most Americans.