By Tony Montgomery, Assistant Vice President, Senior Plan Advisor
In today’s uncertain times, you may be unexpectedly looking for health insurance for you and your family. Whether you are losing your current insurance due to loss of employment or having hours reduced to where you no longer qualify for insurance through your employer, or are making a job change or looking to retire, there are a few options for healthcare coverage for you and your family.
The first option is through the government Marketplace or Obamacare. These plans are normally available only during the open enrollment period of November 1 – December 15. However, if you are losing your current insurance, you may be eligible for a Special Election Period (SEP) where you can obtain health insurance, now, to start the first of the following month. You can enroll in a Marketplace plan either through the official website, www.healthcare.gov or by calling them, 24/7, at 1-800-318-2496. At Murray, we are able to lend guidance with this and can explain the concepts of tax credit, subsidies, enrollment periods and plan designs.
A second option you may have is COBRA benefits. As long as the employer you had health insurance through remains in business and continues to offer a health plan to their remaining workforce, you can elect COBRA. This is a continuation of your current insurance up to 18 months; however, your employer no longer contributes towards the monthly premium and you will have a slight surcharge for COBRA administration. Please check with the employer plan administrator for rates and enrollment information.
A third option for bridging a temporary loss of coverage is Short-term Health Insurance. This plan can be for an individual or a family, and is more or less a catastrophic plan designed to cover your basic needs. There is limited health underwriting and these plans are generally less expensive than the COBRA option. As the name implies, this plan is to cover you for the short-term. These plans are anywhere from 30 days up to 180 days depending on your needs and are designed to cover you from your current loss of coverage until you are able to obtain coverage through another source. These plans are usually approved and issued for the following day and enrollment can be done online. At Murray, we can assist with obtaining quotes and enrollment.
For individuals 65 and older or who are eligible due to disability or a qualifying illness, Medicare may be a good choice for you. If you are eligible for Medicare or are already enrolled, many times this option can prove to be better than the insurance you have through your group platform. At Murray, we have a full-service Medicare Department and can explain how it works, discuss the many plans, help you select the plan that works best for you, and help you with enrollment.
In summary, Murray is here to help you in any way we can during this difficult time. Our goal is to help you understand what options are available to you and your family and if your best option is a combination of the tools mentioned above.
Contact Tony at 717.735.7181 or email him.
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