Maybe you chose a plan you'd like to change or the deadline caught you by surprise. You can still change! Although the December 15th deadline to purchase a health plan that starts Jan 1st, 2017 has come and passed, but there may still be some options available for you.
Can I still get a plan that starts Jan 1st?
Maybe. A few insurance companies have extended the deadline. We'll keep this list up-to-date with news that we here.
[Last Update: Dec 18th, 2016]
Scott & White PPO & HMO - Deadline extended for off-exchange plans until Dec 17th.
Memorial Hermann PPO & HMO - Deadline extended for off-exchange plans until Dec 19th at 11:59pm CST.
Blue Cross - Will accept off-exchange plans until Dec 20th at 1:59am CT. Marketplace plans will follow the marketplace deadline below.
Oscar - Off-exchange plans will be accepted for Jan 1st starts until Dec 31st.
Medi-Share (faith-based) - Accepting off-exchange applications until Dec 20th for Jan 1st start.
Marketplace plans - ALL Marketplace plans have had the Jan 1st deadline extended until Monday, Dec 19th. This includes Blue Cross Blue Shield, Molina, Ambetter, CHRISTUS, Oscar, Priority, HAP, and others. Select a plan and enroll at TakeCommandHealth.com and we'll submit it for you so you don't have to wait in-line or on hold with Healthcare.gov.
Even if the deadlines above pass, you may still be able to get a Jan 1st start if you qualify for a "special enrollment". These are life changes that allow an individual to enroll outside of Open Enrollment. You may still be eligible for a January 1st start date if in the last 60 days you:
- Changed jobs
- Moved cities
- Got married or divorced
- Had or adopted a baby
- Had a death in the family (who was on your current insurance policy)
If one of these events or other special enrollment events apply, please select a plan and complete your application on TakeCommandHealth.com and then make a note in the comments about the special event. You'll need to email us too at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide more information. Some carriers may require documentation that we can help you with too. the end.
Short-Term Plans (Temp Plans)
If none of the above apply, you can still get health coverage for 2017 as Open Enrollment runs through Jan 31st. If you apply before Jan 15th, your plan will start Feb 1st. If after Jan 15th but before the final deadline on Jan 31st, your plan will start Mar 1st.
If you're changing plans, you could keep your old one for a month or two and then start your new one for most of 2017. The potential downside would be if you spend any money for care that applied to your deductible, it would be lost.
Perhaps a better solution or if you don't have insurance for Jan or Feb would be short-term insurance plans. Short-term plans are great because they can start the next day after you apply and are super affordable. They provide great coverage if you're injured or sick and can keep you and your family covered. The catch is they won't cover any pre-existing conditions and aren't good for routine care. We typically recommend getting the cheapest short-term plan and trying to schedule routine visits once your major medical plans starts. While short-term plans do provide great coverage, they don't count as qualified plans in the eyes of the IRS and Obamacare, so you can't have one for more than 3 months without being subject to potential tax penalties. If you're just bridging a Jan or Feb gap, it's a great option! Email us at email@example.com and we'll point you to some good short-term plans in your area.
If you have any questions, we're still working and available to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to see which options above are available in your area, press "Let's Go" to start our survey. We'll help you search for your doctors and prescriptions to make sure it's a great fit. You can enroll directly on our site and we'll make sure you get a Jan 1st start if you meet those deadlines above.
I wrote this blog to help people make smart health insurance decisions. I am a small business owner, a husband, and a dad to three boys, so I've seen firsthand how important understanding insurance decisions can be. As a co-founder of Take Command Health and a licensed health professional, I've been recognized as a leading expert on healthcare transparency and defined contribution arrangements (QSEHRA). I've been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Forbes and others. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!