I’ve been meaning to get around to it. It was a great article in Time magazine, I learned some interesting facts, and I wanted to express my appreciation. It was an article on Procrastination and it appeared in 1979. And I will get that letter off to them soon. I know I will.
Open Enrollment, your chance to purchase individual health insurance, ends March 31, 2014. That’s it. We have two weeks left, according to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or Obamacare) to get a policy. On April 1st the doors are closed and the gates are locked.
The deadline is two weeks away and the procrastinators are about to be closed out. And they aren’t alone. The insurers aren’t advertising. The State of Ohio is uncharacteristically silent. A surprising number of people are still trying to determine whether any of this, this Obamacare, has anything to do with them. Others won’t start looking for insurance until their current policy renews in June or July and their premium goes through the roof. Boy are they going to be surprised.
Since we are no longer asking health questions and since preexisting conditions must be covered, there has to be an open enrollment period each year to purchase coverage. Otherwise, people would wait until after an illness or an injury to apply for insurance. We can’t have ambulance drivers selling insurance on the drive to the hospital.
These are the qualifying events for a Special Enrollment:
- Loss of Minimum Essential Coverage (Loss of Minimum Essential Coverage does not include termination due to non-payment of premium, including COBRA premium, or in the event of rescission)
- Becoming a dependent through Birth
- Becoming a dependent through Adoption or placement for adoption
- Becoming a dependent through Marriage
- Error in enrollment
- The plan or insurer substantially violated a material provision of the contract under which you are enrolled
- Newly eligible or newly ineligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit or experience a change in eligibility for cost-sharing reductions through the Exchange Marketplace
- New coverage becoming available as a result of a permanent move
In simple terms, you must have an insurable event, a major change in your life. And if you don’t, you will have to wait till the next open enrollment at the end of 2014 for a January 1, 2015 effective date. Your only other choice will be short term coverage.
I know, I know. You are going to get around to this. No problem. You’ve still got two weeks.