Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Interesting STM Solution

Regular readers know that, effective April 1st, the maximum amount of time for which a given short term medical plan may stay in effect is 3 months. This poses a number of challenges to folks who, for whatever reason, are between Open Enrollment periods and find themselves uninsured.

When the gummint, in its infinite wisdom, unceremoniously (and frankly, of dubious legality) announced that no plans could extend past three months, these folks had a problem. Previously, they could have bought a 9 month plan, paid it monthly until they no longer needed it, and been relatively okay: although these plans don't cover pre-existing conditions, if something new cropped up during the term of the plan it'd be covered.

Now, though, they'd have to buy a new plan for month 4, and if something happened during months 1 through 3, they were outta luck.

Which is a quandary, indeed.

Yesterday, though, I got an email from the "General Agent Center" touting a plan offering up to 9 months of short term coverage. Intrigued, I called to see how they could do this. Turns out, they have a very interesting set-up: one buys (up to) four 3-month policies (payable monthly). The first one, of course, covers no pre-existing conditions. At the end of each 3-month term, the deductible and co-insurance "reset," but any health issues arising after issue are covered during successive periods.

So, for example, if one had a heart attack in week three of the first "duration," it wouldn't be considered pre-existing (and thus excluded) in durations 2 or 3 or 4. There would be new deductibles to meet, but I'm guessing these are a miniscule fraction of the ICU costs.

Outside-the-bun solution, no?
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