Obamacare to Lock Out of Individual Health Plans after March 31

So what happens if you do not get health insurance by the Obamacare open-enrollment deadline of March 31 of this year?  What if you decide that you want to buy an individual policy on May 1, or June 1?  What happens then?   You are LOCKED OUT. That is what.

A little known fact is that you will be out of luck.  Under the Obamacare law, the only time a person can get individual coverage on or off the government exchange, is during the Open Enrollment Period.    There is a small exception to this rule that allows people to immediately gain coverage through a qualifying event (marriage, birth of a child, death of a family member, adoption, divorce, loss of coverage….).

As a result, regular Americans who want to buy an individual health insurance plan will need to wait until open enrollment every year, with January 1 being the only effective date for new coverage.   This year, if someone decides that they want coverage on April 2, they will not be able to get it until January 1 of 2015.  Next year, if they decide they want coverage on January 16, they will need to wait until January 1,2016.

Before Obamacare this process was not restricted.  In most states like Ohio, anyone could purchase individual health insurance any time during the year.  Of course insurance companies were free to accept or reject people, rider out pre-existing condition, or impose pre-existing condition waiting periods.

Regardless, it used to be that healthy people could purchase health insurance any time during they year, whenever they are ready, and willing to pay for it.

Not anymore.

This brings to mind the old quote “Governments are good at only two things.  Creating surpluses  of things people don’t want, and creating shortages of things that they do want.”



2 thoughts on “Obamacare to Lock Out of Individual Health Plans after March 31

  1. So wait…are you saying that the ACA actually prohibits insurance companies and consumers from freely engaging in business transactions?

  2. At first I thought Obamacare was a great idea, now I don’t have to stay in a job I hate because I’m tied to my health insurance, or so called ‘job-lock’. Boy was I totally mistaken, as the old adage goes ‘look before you leap’. If you decide to change jobs between March 31 and November 14 you are essentially screwed when it comes to purchasing health insurance. Turns out the only way you can get insurance outside the ‘open enrollment period’ is to have a Qualifying Life Event or QLE. While losing your job IS a QLE, leaving your job voluntarily is NOT. I don’t know very many people who change jobs without quitting their previous one first. It appears that the only way you can change jobs now and expect to get health insurance at your next employer is to GET FIRED FROM YOUR PREVIOUS JOB. If you simply find a better job and wish to switch better do it after November 15 or before March 31st or you won’t be able to get health insurance. On top of that you will only be covered from January on even if you sign up in November. So change jobs under Obamacare after March 31 and you won’t be able to have health insurance until JANUARY OF THE NEXT YEAR! That is 9 MONTHS OUT OF THE YEAR I won’t have coverage because I wanted a better job. I suppose they are also going to impose a penalty at tax time because I didn’t have coverage during that period as well. And this is supposed to ENCOURAGE people to change jobs or start small businesses? Sounds to me like it will only DISCOURAGE those practices. Now if you don’t mind destroying your professional reputation by getting fired just so you can qualify for health insurance at your next position, by all means go right ahead. Personally I have spent too many years building that reputation, Thanks Obamacare, now I can only change jobs between November and March, traditionally the WORST TIME OF YEAR to find work (unless your a Mall Santa) well done.

    If you are even thinking about starting your own business don’t even consider leaving your job outside open enrollment or you will be without coverage until January of the following year! Of course you could get married, get fired, or have a child, then you could use that as a Qualifying Life Event to get a 60 enrollment period outside open enrollment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s