Maybe your clients were in the middle of a family crisis? Maybe they were or are transitioning into a new job? Or maybe it just slipped their mind? Whatever the reason, your client has missed Open Enrollment. Fortunately, your client is not completely out of luck when it comes to finding health coverage for 2020, since there are a number of alternatives to the Affordable Care Act .
Short Term Medical
Short Term Medical (STM) plans are essential financial protection for people in transition, such as those who recently lost their coverage. Due to recent legislative changes, Short Term Medical plans have become even stronger options for clients since the duration limits have been extended. Some states have extended these limits even up to 3 years. (State specific laws determine length and options for reapplying.)
According to Minnesota rules, a client can enroll in a Short Term plan for up to six months or 185 days, whichever is less. You cannot renew a Short Term plan in Minnesota, but you can reapply to purchase a second one. The second one is not Guaranteed Issue for preexisting conditions, which would include any conditions identified during the first six months of coverage. You can have coverage for up to 365 days (12 months) within a 555 day (18 month) period.
One of the newest, and strongest options, in the STM market is UnitedHealthOne‘s TriTerm Medical Plan (worth knowing about for clients outside of MN). Tri-Term Medical is a 3-year Short Term Medical product that is available starting any time of the year. It is underwritten but can be a good option for your healthy clients looking for an alternative to an ACA plan or if they have missed open enrollment or their special enrollment period, especially interesting to any Pre Medicare clients looking for affordable options. This plan not only has a nationwide network, but also offers a variety of benefit options for the client. UnitedHealthOne also has a traditional Short Term Medical plan, which helps bridge the gaps in your clients health care coverage as they are in transition For many, Short Term Medical plans provide the solution to their health insurance needs. Clients will be attracted by the lower premiums and broad network.
Article: Short Term Medical Plans: A strong alternative for your clients
Brochure: UnitedHealthOne TriTerm
Brochure: UnitedHealthOne STM
Webinar: UnitedHealthOne Short Term Medical: For Those in Transition
Webinar: Prepare for Change: Short Term Medical Plans from National General
Healthcare Sharing Programs
Healthcare Sharing Programs were created to help individuals and families address the challenges of escalating healthcare costs and soaring insurance premiums. It is not insurance, but rather an affordable alternative. Membership contributions are often thirty-five to fifty percent less than traditional medical insurance policies and members enjoy access to one of the largest PPO networks in the nation, PHCS.
Members voluntarily help pay each other’s medical expenses through the Healthcare Sharing Program. Monthly membership contributions provide the sharing power behind the medical sharing programs. The Healthcare Sharing Program then receives the medical bills of members and sends them to their TPA (third party administrator) who determines if the medical expense is eligible for sharing based on the member guidelines. All eligible medical expenses are normally shared within fourteen days. Shared amounts are either directly paid to the provider or reimbursed to the member.
New generation Fixed Indemnity plans can provide first dollar cover for everything from prevention, drugs to intensive care at hospital. These first dollar amounts can be designed ‘light’ as a supplement to an ACA plan, covering deductibles and out of pocket costs; or with benefits ‘rich’ enough as an alternative to an ACA plan.
Article: Take a Fresh Look at Accident, Hospital, Fixed Indemnity and Short Term Medical
Article: Why Is Hospital and Doctor Indemnity Insurance Worth a Look?
Webinar: UnitedHealthOne Fixed Indemnity: Affordable ACA Alternative
Webinar: LifeSecure’s Indemnity Solutions
Missing Open Enrollment deadline can be costly to your clients. As their advisor, you need to be proactive in helping them find coverage alternatives. Reach out to LaRae Mills or Weston Peterson to discuss the options that are available to your clients.