Ahead of December 15 Open Enrollment Deadline, Here are 5 Reasons Why Short Term Health Coverage Makes Sense for Last Minute Shoppers

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Pivot Health reminds consumers they have alternative health plan options that are more affordable than ObamaCare plans

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Consumers have figured out that ACA plans are good for most individuals much of the time, but are not a blanket solution for all Americans all of the time

Today Pivot Health, a leader in short term medical, supplemental insurance and zero deductible benefit plans, encouraged consumers to look at affordable health plan alternatives before committing to an individual health insurance policy this open enrollment season. The company said alternative coverage like short term health insurance could help certain consumers save nearly 50 percent on their monthly health plan expenses while allowing them to “punt” until Affordable Care Act (AC) premiums stabilize.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, about half of Americans who purchase their own insurance do not qualify for financial subsidies which lower the cost of health insurance premiums. With 2018 health insurance rates averaging nearly 30 percent more on average than current rates, many consumers believe they can’t afford an ACA plan, and millions may be exempt from paying a tax penalty for not having a qualified health plan.

Short term medical plans are gaining momentum this open enrollment season for many reasons,” said Jeff Smedsrud, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pivot Health. “The future of the ACA is uncertain. Costs are going up. And finally, the mandate may go away.”

Smedsrud outlined five reasons why short term medical can be a viable option:

1. More and more individuals are becoming part of the “gig economy” and don’t know how long they will need coverage. Often their need for health insurance falls outside of the traditional open enrollment period when individual health plans are not available.
2. If the cost of plans on the federal or state exchanges is more than 8.1 percent of household, taxable income, individuals will be exempt from paying the ObamaCare penalty in 2018 for not having insurance. Short term medical plans cost much less.
3. Many families live in an area with only one ACA insurance plan option, and a narrow network of doctors and medical facilities. Short term health plans offered by Pivot Health allow consumers to see any doctor, anywhere, with no network limitations.
4. For younger adults who are still on their parent’s insurance plan or will come off it during 2018, a short term medical plan may be less expensive and have a lower deductible than mom and dad’s individual insurance.
5. The risk of “punting” is low. An individual in reasonably good health might decide to take a year off from their expensive ACA plan, and bet that President Trump will lift the 90-day limit on short term medical plans in early 2018 and do away with the tax penalty for not having essential coverage.

While there are many cost-saving benefits to a short term health plan, it does not meet the mandate and essential benefit requirements of the ACA. Smedsrud also said short term health insurance is not for individuals who qualify for a zero-dollar ACA plan because of subsidy assistance, or are below 250 percent of the federal poverty level. However, for families who have low-cost monthly premiums due to subsidy relief, supplemental insurance that “bridges the gap” between the first medical bill and meeting a required insurance deductible can be an economical way to avoid costly expenses.

“Consumers have figured out that ACA plans are good for most individuals much of the time, but are not a blanket solution for all Americans all of the time,” said Smedsrud. That’s why it’s important for individuals and families to know they have alternative choices and should research their options before the December 15 deadline. Like the song goes, ‘you better shop around.’”

About Pivot Health
Launched in 2016, Pivot Health is an insurance product development, management and marketing company led by an experienced team of health insurance professionals that has managed more than $7 billion of insurance premium. The company has proprietary products and dedicated relationships with many national carriers. The founders of Pivot Health have led previous firms that were acquired by NYSE companies or that rank in the Top 100 for fastest growing private companies in the U.S. Jeff Smedsrud is a co-founder of insurance shopping site HealthCare.com

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Colleen McGuire
Colleen McGuire Communications
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Pivot Health
since: 06/2016
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