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Waiting it Out

Waiting it Out

Posted Feb 09, 2017 by Jenifer Dorsey

Health Coverage Options for Those In-Between Times

The situation: You bought an individual health insurance plan on January 30, the day before 2017 open enrollment ended. That means you have coverage starting March 1, but you don’t have it now. You have no benefits to help with unexpected medical bills.

So, what happens if you go skiing and break your leg or have a severe allergic reaction and wind up at the emergency room? More likely than not, you will be responsible for the full cost of any healthcare you require while in between Obamacare (i.e., major medical, ACA) plans.

Fortunately, as we often say, there’s no need to live your life in a protective bubble. There is temporary coverage available to those who find themselves uninsured in the short term as well as additional health benefits that can offer some financial protection before and after your ACA plan takes effect.

Your go-to solution for the short term

For those in between major medical plans, short term medical insurance provides:

  • Temporary benefits – Covered expenses include office visits, emergency care and hospitalization
  • Custom policy lengths – Starting at as few as 30 days
  • Quick coverage – May begin as soon as the day after enrollment
  • Budget-friendly rates – Typically more affordable than major medical premiums

Because they are not designed for long-term coverage, short term plans are different from Obamacare plans in a few key ways. They are not guaranteed issue, which means your application could be denied based on your health history. They are not minimal essential coverage, which means you could owe a tax penalty unless you are exempt from the shared responsibility provision (i.e., individual mandate).


How much is short term coverage?

Learn more about temporary plans


A hospital helper for now and later

Fixed-indemnity health plans, which are sometimes called hospital indemnity plans, pay fixed-benefit amounts to protect against covered medical expenses from hospitalizations, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation services.

The Care Access Plan (CAP), a fixed-indemnity health plan:

  • Includes lump-sum critical illness benefits – An automatic $10,000 critical illness benefit for the primary insured and covered spouse, along with a $2,500 benefit for each covered dependent child; there is an option to increase this amount
  • Can be customized – $0 deductible plan available, as well as several per injury or illness deductible options
  • Complement Obamacare – Consumers can keep CAP after they enroll in a major medical plan, as this is separate coverage and there is no coordination of benefits
  • Is guaranteed renewable – No rate increases or cancellations based solely on changes to health

As with short term plans, fixed-indemnity plans are not a substitute for minimum essential coverage. However, unlike short term plans, you can continue your fixed-indemnity policy after your major medical insurance plan takes effect. Fixed-indemnity plan benefits do not coordinate with your major medical plan benefits.


Call the number at the top of your screen to learn more

about fixed-indemnity health plans and get a custom quote


Not sure what to do?

A health insurance producer can assist you in determining what coverage might best suit you and your family, including major medical insurance, short term and fixed-indemnity plans, and supplemental benefits such as dental insurance.


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This document is for general informational purposes only. While we have attempted to provide current and accurate information, this information is provided "as is" and we makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind. External users should seek professional advice from their own attorneys and tax and benefit plan advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.

(This is not qualifying health coverage “Minimum Essential Coverage”) that satisfies the health coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act. If you don’t have Minimum Essential Coverage, you may owe an additional payment with your taxes. The termination or loss of this policy does not entitle you to a special enrollment period to purchase a health benefit plan that qualifies as minimum essential coverage outside of an open enrollment period. This product includes a pre-existing condition exclusion provision.

About The IHC Group
Independence Holding Company (NYSE: IHC) is a holding company that is principally engaged in underwriting, administering and/or distributing group and individual specialty benefit products, including disability, supplemental health, pet, and group life insurance through its subsidiaries since 1980.  The IHC Group owns three insurance companies (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company), and IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., a technology-driven insurance sales and marketing company that creates value for insurance producers, carriers and consumers (both individuals and small businesses) through a suite of proprietary tools and products (including ACA plans and small group medical stop-loss).  All products are placed with highly rated carriers.

IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc.
IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., doing business as Health eDeals Insurance Solutions is a full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer, individual and consumer products. Health eDeals markets products via general agents online, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label and directly to consumers. For more information about Health eDeals visit http://www.HealtheDeals.com.