The Affordable Care Act (ACA) only allows people to buy health insurance during one open enrollment period each year. This year, that period is November 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017. Along with this restricted time frame, the ACA also fines most people if they don’t have insurance – sometimes the fine is thousands of dollars!
If you just got a divorce, it may be slim comfort to know that it may cause a qualifying event for special enrollment. The ACA recognizes that things happen that may leave people without coverage outside of open enrollment. In many cases, both spouses have their own health insurance and coverage is not an issue. But what if you relied on your former spouse’s plan to provide coverage for you and your children? Fortunately, losing your health insurance because of a divorce is a qualifying life event for special enrollment. This means that you can enroll in a new individual and family plan outside of the open enrollment period.
Here are a few points you should know about finding the right plan –
- Financial assistance may be available, depending on your circumstances
- In Wisconsin, those who earn less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) may qualify for BadgerCare Plus (Medicaid)
- If you make 100 – 150% of the FPL, you may qualify for assistance from local non-profits
- If you make less than 250% of the FPL, you may qualify for Cost Share Reductions from the ACA. This means you can buy a Silver plan but get the low out-of-pocket costs of a Gold or Platinum plan
- If you make less than 400% of the FPL, you may qualify for Advanced Premium Tax Credits from the ACA. Basically, you get money to help pay for your insurance premiums
- Remember, qualifying life events for special enrollment only allow 60 days to find a plan
Divorce affects every part of a person’s life. If you need help figuring out life events for health insurance or finding the best option for you, give Unity’s knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives a call at 608.644.3430.