MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—(Marketwired – Jun 2, 2017) – In light of a new analysis showing more than 27 million people a year face gaps in their health insurance, AgileHealthInsurance.com released information today outlining options for people needing temporary coverage.
Using the most recent National Health Interview Survey, the Kaiser Family Foundation recently estimated that nationally 27.4 million non–elderly adults (18 to 64 years of age) had a gap in coverage of at least several months in 2015. People in a range of situations face coverage gaps, including employees who have lost a job with health benefits or people who experience a drop in income that makes health insurance unaffordable. Young adults may experience lapses in coverage when they graduate from college or turn 26 and age off a parent's health plan.
Going uninsured is not only financially risky, it may have ramifications when you seek new coverage. If you have a gap in insurance coverage longer than 63 days, your subsequent employer–based plan may impose a wait period of several months before you will be covered for pre–existing conditions. Also, under the American Health Care Act — which has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently under consideration by the U.S. Senate — people with the same gap of 63 or more consecutive days could be charged higher premiums based on their lack of continuous coverage between transitions.
That is why it's important to have continuous health coverage under a “creditable” plan, such as short–term health insurance, Medicaid, Obamacare, or an employer group health plan.
“Despite a drop in the overall uninsured rate, we now know that more than 27 million people a year face gaps in insurance coverage that leave them financially exposed or risk their obtaining subsequent affordable coverage,” said Bruce Telkamp, founder and CEO of AgileHealthInsurance.com. “It's easy to become overwhelmed during life transitions that frequently cause a loss in health insurance coverage, but consumers should be aware of their options for temporary coverage. For many, short–term health insurance will be their best solution during gap periods because of its affordability and easy application process.”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) restricts exchange health plan enrollment to an annual enrollment period unless an individual or family has experienced a life event (e.g. marriage, job loss) that triggers a special enrollment period. The next annual enrollment period will start Nov. 1 and end Dec.15, 2017, and this enrollment period will allow consumers to obtain a health plan with an effective date not before Jan. 1, 2018. People facing gaps in insurance coverage who don't qualify for a special enrollment period under the ACA should consider alternate coverage options including:
Short–term health insurance. People who don't qualify for a special enrollment period or who find they cannot afford an Obamacare plan may want to consider short–term health insurance. These plans include major medical benefits, such as doctor and specialist visits, hospitalization, emergency care and drug discounts. However, they are one–third to one–half the cost of Obamacare plans, and people can enroll any time of year. These plans are not for everyone and do not cover pre–existing conditions, but answering five to seven questions about your health condition will tell you if you qualify.
Medicaid. More than 30 states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all people below certain income levels. The criteria for qualifying for Medicaid depends partly on whether your state has expanded its program. Since the program is run jointly by states and the federal government, benefits and program names can vary. You can apply anytime, and if you qualify, coverage can begin immediately.
Health care sharing ministries. A health care sharing ministry is a cost–sharing arrangement among people with similar beliefs. Medical expenses are shared among members. It is not insurance, and people can enroll at any time. Members of health care sharing ministries are exempt from the individual mandate requirement, but it is not considered creditable coverage under federal law.
When it comes to finding the best coverage option, every situation is unique. People needing temporary coverage should consider the plan's cost and benefits, as well as their own health status and when they need coverage to begin.
To learn more about short–term health insurance, visit AgileHealthInsurance's Learning Center at www.AgileHealthInsurance.com.
AgileHealthInsurance.com was created to educate people about the benefits of short–term health insurance and provide a fast, online process for purchasing these plans. Short–term health insurance is a flexible and low–cost major medical insurance for individuals without expensive pre–existing health conditions. It is not Obamacare. Short–term health plans offer consumers the flexibility to choose health plans with the benefits that matter most to them and combine these benefits with broad provider networks. Additional information about AgileHealthInsurance can be found at www.AgileHealthInsurance.com.
AgileHealthInsurance is a Silicon Valley–based technology company and independently managed division of Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (