Surviving Health Care Reform
Guaranteed Acceptance Health Plans - You Can’t Be Denied
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, every citizen of the United States and every legal immigrant who applies for health insurance coverage during an open enrollment period will be accepted. No one will be declined health insurance for any medical reason.
Previously, many people with serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, mental illness or other chronic conditions were denied coverage when they applied for individual or family health insurance. This would often keep people trapped in jobs they couldn’t leave because they didn’t want to lose their group health insurance coverage, or that people had no coverage at all.
The ACA mandates that no pre-existing health condition be denied coverage. If you are in a grandmothered health plan, or plan that’s been in effect since October 2013 or grandfathered from before Obamacare, most of it expired in 2015. At that time, you can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in an ACA-qualified plan with no denial of coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
Open Enrollment Deadlines and Other Options
We are currently outside of open enrollment. To sign up now, you need to qualify for a special enrollment period, or sign up for a short-term plan to cover you until the next open enrollment.
Citizens of Nevada can sign up any time during the year, but while outside of open enrollment the plans have a 90 day waiting period before they go into effect.
Open enrollment lasts from November 1 - December 15 for most of the country. It is only during this time that you can get permanent health insurance coverage unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.
If you do not qualify for a special enrollment period, you can sign a Short-term Medical plan or Supplemental Accident plan to cover you until you can sign up for a permanent plan.
Qualifying Life-Events for Special Enrollment Periods
When you’re outside the open enrollment period, there are ACA Special Enrollment Periods exist that accommodate those who, through no fault of their own, have lost health insurance or experienced a life-event (marriage, childbirth/adoption/custody), relocation, or other specific reasons.
Read more about just how these special enrollment periods work.
Many changes have been implemented since the roll-out of Obamacare. For the millions of people who lost their non-ACA health plans because it did not meet ACA minimum requirements, there is the possibility of qualifying for a hardship exemption.
If you believe you cannot afford an ACA-qualified health plan after losing your previous coverage, you could qualify for an exemption. We’ve outlined the qualifications for exemptions and how to apply on our Hardship Exemptions page.
Health Savings Accounts and Guaranteed Acceptance
Because more people are now able to access coverage for expensive treatment of previously denied conditions, premiums across the board are higher. If you have health issues that require frequent medical attention, you should consider a high-deductible, low premium HSA-qualified plan. ACA Bronze plans combined with a health savings account can give you more control over how you pay for your deductibles and out-of-pocket copays, while keeping your fixed monthly premiums low.
A health savings account allows you to control as much of your own money as possible using a tax-advantaged strategy. You’ll be in compliance with the Affordable Care Act with a qualifying high-deductible health insurance plan, but you’ll also be saving money that can be used for qualified medical expenses, providers or facilities of your choice.
Our HSA for America Personal Benefits Managers have all the information you need to enroll in an HSA-qualified health plan. To learn more, visit our Guide to Open Enrollment web page. Or email for an appointment time that’s convenient for your schedule.