BURBANK, Calif., Feb. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The open enrollment period for Obamacare ended January 31st in California and New York, the last two states to allow extended open enrollment. Because of rising premiums, the uninsured rate in the US rose 1.3 percentage points to 12.2% last year, according to the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. That represents an increase of roughly 3.2 million Americans leaving more than 39 million Americans uninsured.
Consumers who missed open enrollment in Obamacare can still enroll if they have a major qualifying event, such as:
- Loss of other coverage
- Becoming a dependent, or gaining a dependent
- Becoming a US citizen
- A permanent move to an area with different health plans
- The short gap exemption. Anyone with a gap in health coverage of no more than 2 consecutive months can claim this exemption.
Health Sharing Plans Are Open Year Round
Consumers without a qualifying event or short gap exemption can enroll in a Health Sharing Plan, sometimes called a Health Sharing Ministry. These plans are technically not insurance but a group of individuals and families who have joined together to share the cost of healthcare across the group. Members must agree with certain beliefs and lifestyles, such as limited tobacco and alcohol use. Generally, these plans do not discriminate based on age, weight, or health history.
Health Sharing Plans Cost Less Than Obamacare
Most Health Sharing Plans cost 50% less than Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, They reduce claims costs by:
- Having members agree to a healthy life style.
- They generally do not cover serious pre-existing conditions, or demand a waiting period.
- They do not cover all of the ten "essential health benefits" required by the ACA, such as maternity benefits, pediatric dental care, drug and alcohol counselling, and others.
- They are non-profit 501(c) organizations.
Missed Obamacare Open Enrollment? Here's What To Do
To assist the millions of Americans who missed the ACA open enrollment period, HealthSharing.com recently published a complete guide to the issue which can be found at this link. Missed Obamacare Open Enrollment 2018? Here's What You Can Do.
HealthSharing.com was created to educate people about the many benefits of joining a Health Sharing Plan. Although Health Sharing is not insurance, it can be better than conventional health insurance for many people.
Jim Van Wyck