Health Coverage Options After Open Enrollment

So far this year we’ve moved through winter storms, cold and flu season and avoiding Covid as best we can. As we get our foot settled solidly in 2022, know that you still have healthcare options if you haven’t yet elected coverage.

The time to enroll in ACA health plans ended January 15 for most states. If you followed the open enrollment guidelines and already enrolled in your 2022 health insurance during open enrollment, you should be set for the year as long as you keep up with your monthly premium payments. If you missed open enrollment, you may be wondering if you can still enroll in coverage for 2022. The answer is—yes, there may be an option for you.

You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period

Special Enrollment Periods are brought on by qualifying life events— or major life changes that necessitate “off schedule” insurance changes. These specific, qualifying life changes may open a small window of time that will allow you to purchase new ACA health insurance coverage. The most common kinds of qualifying life events are:

  • Losing  employer-sponsored coverage
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  •  Adding a child to your family
  •  Aging off of  a parent’s plan
  • Moving to a new state or service area

There are a variety of ways to qualify for special enrollment periods—many more than just those listed above. It’s important to remember that these events create an SEP for a limited time only, in most cases 60 days from the event. Anyone applying once his/her SEP has expired will not be able to make health insurance elections. The federal government and many insurance companies also require specific proof of these events. Consult a licensed agent for more information.

Alternatives to ACA coverage are accessible year-round

Another option outside of Open Enrollment is to select a non-ACA compliant plan (an ACA alternative). ACA alternatives can be enrolled in at any time throughout the year and can typically be more affordable than traditional ACA plans, but with more restricted and limited coverage. If you are in good health and only looking for coverage on unexpected medical care, short-term medical (STM)2 insurance may be a good option for you to explore.

Short-term medical insurance is health coverage designed to cover healthy individuals for a pre-determined length of time. These periods can range from a few months up to a year, depending on your state.

Short-term medical is a great option for:

  • Those who missed the open enrollment period for major medical
  • Individuals who are in a probationary period at a new job and waiting for benefits to begin
  • Students who are leaving parental coverage
  • Those who are looking for a lower cost alternative to major medical
  • And many more

These plans are flexible and customizable – you can choose from various premium, deductible and health benefit levels. STM plans can also be used alongside other supplemental insurance options such as accident or critical illness insurance for even more coverage.

Consider speaking to a health insurance agent to help you make a confident decision.

Insurance Agents are experts on insurance and use their knowledge to find plans that serve your best interest, acting as a personal advisor on insurance matters. Working with an agent can be a smooth, knowledgeable and helpful experience as you determine which health plan to go with for the 2022 coverage year.

Speak to a licensed agent to:

  • Get information on products in your area
  • See what health insurance fits your budget
  • Learn what coverage could best fit your needs
  • Ask questions
  • Get an understanding of your insurance options
  • Enroll in coverage with the assistance of a licensed expert

Not sure what kind of health coverage is right for you? You don’t have to go it alone! Call 855-548-0727 to speak with a licensed agent or visit www.velapointmarketplace.com for more information.

1ACA = Short for the “Affordable Care Act.” ACA health insurance plans that meet the minimum essential coverage requirements and cover pre-existing conditions as well as the 10 essential health benefits (e.g. maternity care, mental health, preventative care, prescription drugs, and more). ACA plans also offer subsidies and premium tax credits to eligible individuals based on income. These subsidies and credits are designed to lower your ACA plan’s monthly premium. Individuals may only enroll in ACA coverage during the annual Open Enrollment Period (November 1st – January15th) unless they have a Qualifying Life Event. Visit Healthcare.gov for more information.
2Short Term Medical (STM) and other ACA-alternative plans are medically underwritten and are not required to meet the minimum essential coverage requirements or provide the 10 essential health benefits as mandated by the ACA. This means that non-ACA plans may not cover certain types of services, including but not limited to: maternity care, mental health, preventative care, and prescription drugs. Non-ACA plans are also not required to cover pre-existing conditions. STM plans vary per state.