I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately from people who missed the last open enrollment for Affordable Care Act-qualified health coverage. After some of my anxious callers have determined they don’t qualify for a special enrollment period, the question becomes, “Now what?”
The short answer is this: Short-term medical plans. I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating. A short-term plan can cover you for a month if that’s all you need, or as long as 11 months – depending on your hometown. Short-term plans are fast, too. You can get covered the day after you enroll.
Alternative, Additional Coverage is Smart!
Going without health insurance can be risky. Even for those who do have coverage, there is a risk of falling short on supplemental protection for the possibility of an accident or critical illness. I find great satisfaction in putting these uncertainties to rest for many of my friends. I’d like to share some strategies for keeping more of your money in your pocket, with low-cost supplemental coverage.
Clichés are Usually True – Especially When it Comes to Insurance
You’ve heard of Murphy’s Law? The old adage “if something can go wrong, it will go wrong,” may seem like the epitome of pessimism. But often in hindsight, we wish we had prepared for the virtually inevitable. That’s why I carry accident insurance as well as critical illness insurance.
You don’t have to be a daredevil or live an irresponsible lifestyle to be at risk for an accident or illness. In short, accident coverage can pay for the thousands of dollars in treatment you’d be expected to shell out even before meeting your major medical deductible.
Critical illness coverage is also something you don’t want to go without. If you are diagnosed with a serious condition such as cancer, stroke or heart disease, a critical illness plan can take the burden off of your financial ability to pay for treatment, travel for treatment, living expenses and lost wages.
These alternative coverage options can save you a lot of money both outside and within open enrollment periods. I want you to know that you don’t have to go without coverage, or with insufficient protection against the unexpected. I say, get your coverage in place sooner than later so you can get on with enjoying your life! Or to steal another cliché …“Don’t worry; be happy!”
Wiley Long is President of HSA for America, and a passionate advocate for consumer-based solutions that will improve price transparency and lower health insurance and medical costs for people purchasing individual and family health insurance plans.