CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Apr 17, 2014) - New rules for enrolling in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) go into effect with the recent completion of the national open enrollment period. GoHealth, the nation's leading private online exchange for individuals and families to shop and compare health insurance plans, offers free resources and new coverage options to help consumers bridge the gap between open enrollment periods.
Outside of open enrollment, Americans may still enroll in a subsidy-eligible Marketplace health insurance plan as a result of a Qualifying Life Event which includes getting married, having a child, moving, or a change in income. These events may qualify someone for a Special Enrollment Period in which they can purchase plans typically sold during open enrollment.
For Americans who do not qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, short-term health insurance is an option to stay covered in 2014. While a short-term health plan does not exempt a person from the individual mandate tax penalty established through the ACA, it offers protection against high medical expenses from injuries and unexpected illness.
"A short-term plan provides coverage for the 'what ifs' like a car accident, cancer, or stroke," said Brandon Cruz, president at GoHealth. "They are a great solution if you missed the open enrollment deadline."
Americans who have not yet enrolled in a qualified health plan this year will likely be subject to the tax penalty outlined in the ACA. "Paying the tax penalty does not eliminate the need for health coverage. You're still responsible for all of your medical expenses," said Cruz. "Without insurance, a trip to the emergency room could cost thousands of dollars, but a short-term plan can significantly offset those costs."
Short-term health plans do not adhere to the same rules as major medical plans typically sold during open enrollment. GoHealth created the chart below to explain the difference between major medical and short-term health plans.
||Major Medical Health Insurance
||Short-Term Health Insurance
|Length of Coverage
||One to 12 Months
|Preventive Care Benefits
||Depends on Plan
||Open Enrollment or Special Enrollment Period
|May Offer Protection From the Individual Mandate Tax Penalty
|Tax credits May be Applied to Lower Costs
||Generally Not Renewable
GoHealth has incorporated short-term health insurance plans into its broad variety of coverage options. These temporary plans cannot be found on government exchanges. The duration of short-term coverage can be customized to last until the next open enrollment period which begins on November 15, 2014.
"We've partnered with the nation's leading insurance carriers to offer financial protection and peace of mind for consumers across the country," said Clint Jones, CEO at GoHealth. "Our short-term plans provide a viable solution if you experience a gap in coverage between now and the next open enrollment period in November."
GoHealth also offers other coverage options such as dental, vision, and life insurance policies. GoHealth offers free plan recommendation, enrollment assistance and comparison software to help consumers make smart insurance decisions.
"Our licensed advisors are trained to clearly explain your coverage options and recommend plans based on your individual situation," said Jones. "Whether you need a temporary plan to protect against unexpected illnesses or major medical coverage for your growing family -- GoHealth can connect you with the right plan."
Consumers can visit www.GoHealthInsurance.com to compare insurance plans or call (888) 322-7557 to speak with a licensed insurance advisor their coverage options.
GoHealth is a health insurance technology company that operates GoHealthInsurance.com, the leading private health insurance exchange for individuals and families. GoHealth's technology enables consumers across the United States to easily compare pricing and benefits of a variety of health insurance plans. Based in Chicago, GoHealth works with more than 300 health insurance carriers and more than 10,000 licensed agents across the United States to offer consumers a customized shopping experience. Since the company's founding in 2001, the GoHealth platform has helped more than 30 million Americans compare, shop for and save money on health insurance plans.