Affordable Care Act – Known As Obamacare
It has been many years since Obamacare became the law of the land, yet most Americans do not understand the rules regarding obtaining coverage and this broker personally gets at least 5 calls a week regarding getting coverage. Most of the time they do not have a qualifying event allowing them to buy coverage now.
The way this law was written allows anyone to buy health insurance between November 1st and January 31st for coverage to start the first of the following month. What most people do not know is that if they want to buy health insurance at any other time they must have a qualifying event.
Qualifying Events To Buy Health Insurance
Examples of qualifying event are birth, death, marriage, loss of creditable coverage, loss of eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP. Additional examples are, moving to a different location or county, getting released from prison and several other events that allow you to buy health insurance at any time during the year. The part that most Americans miss is that you must obtain new coverage within 63 days of that qualifying event.
This morning a man called and wanted to get new health insurance and when I asked him what his qualifying event was, he said he had lost Medicaid because he was now employed, and his employer did not offer coverage. When I asked him when he lost Medicaid, he said 8 months ago. The reason he wants coverage now is he has a medical issue needing attention now.
Unfortunately, the law doesn’t work that way, or no one would be buying health insurance unless they needed it and that’s what the law was trying to prevent. That’s why there are specific times when you can buy coverage and while it seems to work for most Americans there are those that procrastinate until need insurance to obtain coverage.
The reason I wrote this blog is to inform everyone that there are rules about when you can obtain new health insurance and rules that allow or disallow you to buy coverage. Everyone needs to understand the rules so they can obtain coverage during the open enrollment period and not be put in a position of needing coverage but not having it.
This law is very difficult for most Americans to understand, and I believe because it is not talked about enough. The open enrollment is the only specific time when you can buy health insurance and everyone should be aware of those time frames. Medicare recipients are aware of the time frames when they can change their insurance, why shouldn’t the rest understand it as well.
Truthfully most wait until they have a medical issues to deal with before buying coverage and that explains why the issues discussed in this blog is important for everyone to know and understand.
Please remember that once the qualifying event happens you have 63 days to obtain new coverage, or you wait until open enrollment. It’s really that simple.
I hope this information is useful and it anyone has questions, please contact me via phone or email and I will respond quickly.
Also take a look at Medicare 2023 Information.
The Barend Agency Inc.
Len Barend, Broker