Whether you just got laid off like so many people recently, you missed open enrollment and now COVID-19 has started to worry you, or you were paying way too much for Obamacare and cancelled your plan, you are not alone. I talk to people all the time about their situations and try to help come up with the best possible solution for them. I strongly suggest asking the people in your life for broker recommendations because a) they do this for a living, b) you don’t have to pay any extra to work with one and c) a great broker will be able to help you with any questions that you have, i.e. a billing issue.
That being said, let us dig into some possible alternatives to your current situation:
- Stay uninsured
- As a broker, I strongly advise against this. You can be a strapping young college grad with no health problems up to that point and thennnn… you get in an accident. Grim, but a real possibility. The stories that my colleagues and I hear about people with astronomical bills due to an unforeseen event are more than you would think. Get health insurance. Just do it.
- If you really want to stay uninsured or if you have a high deductible plan and you’re worried about out of pocket expenses, I would recommend checking out telehealth products. Ask your broker which one they like and do your research. I like this telehealth product because it provides prescription savings, 24/7 doctor access, wellness coaching and $0 co-pays. Most telehealth products are extremely affordable, this one being $11/month for an individual plan and $15/month for a family. It’s a great option for people who hate the doctor’s office, especially during these quaran-times.
- Short-term Plan
- This is a great option if you are healthy and you missed open enrollment because they are super affordable and there is no open enrollment period so you can hop on a plan at any time. You can get these plans for up to 360 days and you can renew for up to three years. You will have to get through underwriting because the carrier needs a healthy pool to keep the premiums so low. These plans don’t meet the MEC (Minimum Essential Coverage) standards set by the ACA (Affordable Care Act), so keep that in mind.
- If your employer has over 20 employees and you just got laid off, they are legally required to offer you COBRA. COBRA is continuation health coverage that you can have for up to 18 months. You will obviously have to pay your full premium, but you will have much better coverage and (typically) better rates than what you would get with a marketplace plan, aka Obamacare. If you work for a company under 20 employees, check the rules in your state regarding State Continuation aka “mini-COBRA”.
- One-life group plan
- Did you know??? In Ohio, there are a couple carriers offering one-life group plans which is HUGE because you have a much better network, more affordable premiums and you can pay pre-tax! You do have to provide proof that you do own your company and you will have to be underwritten. I’m unsure about one-life groups in other states, so ask your broker about that.
- Obamacare/ ACA plan/ Marketplace plan
- Don’t worry, they all mean the same thing. If you don’t qualify for a short-term plan or a one-life group plan, can’t elect COBRA and you missed open enrollment, you will have to wait until open enrollment starts on November 1st. In the meantime, get a telehealth product/ go to goodrx.com for prescription discounts.
If you’re interested in receiving a quote and you’re in Ohio, please fill out the form below and I will be in touch with you.