December 20, 2016 09:30 ET

Why Obamacare has Open Enrollment Periods and Other Forms of Insurance Don't

Short term health insurance among the options for people who miss the deadline

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 20, 2016) - Yesterday was the deadline for enrolling in Obamacare plans for Jan. 1 coverage through, but short term health insurance is among the products available to help fill any gaps for people who would otherwise go uninsured.

This year's open enrollment period for Obamacare plans runs through Jan. 31, 2017. Unless you qualify for a special enrollment period, it is the only time you can enroll in a marketplace plan. However, there are additional deadlines of which you should be aware. For example, if you wanted coverage to begin Jan. 1, you had to enroll by Dec. 19. If you want coverage to begin Feb. 1, you must enroll by Jan. 15. If you wait until Jan. 31, your coverage will not begin until March 1. If you miss one of the enrollment deadlines and your old plan expires, there are other health insurance options available.

"For those who miss the open enrollment deadline for Obamacare, short term health insurance is a great option," said Bruce Telkamp CEO of "For more than 30 years, these major medical health plans have been offered year round, with no enrollment period restrictions."

Why is enrollment for Obamacare plans restricted to this single open enrollment timeframe anyhow? The key reason is that a central tenet of the Affordable Care Act is guaranteed coverage for anyone, despite any pre-existing conditions. However, this guaranteed coverage can create a situation where people only enroll in health insurance when they are sick. This scenario would drive up health insurance premiums because medical costs would not be divided over a larger pool of people, including those who are healthy. Not having an enrollment period would be akin to allowing people to buy auto insurance for an accident after they get into said accident.

Fortunately, this open enrollment necessity is not germane for short-term health insurance, which has a long history of serving people going through transitions. People can enroll any time in these plans, which are one-third to one-half the cost of Obamacare plans and have broader provider networks. Eligibility requirements and flexibility in benefits contribute to the cost savings realized by consumers. These plans are not for everyone, but answering five to seven questions on your health condition will tell you if you qualify. Informative websites with licensed health insurance agents are available anytime to help consumers find the best coverage that fits their budget. Enrollees may have to pay the Obamacare Tax unless they qualify for one of several exemptions. was created to educate people about the benefits of short term health insurance and provide a fast, online process for purchasing these plans. Short term health insurance is a flexible and low-cost major medical insurance for individuals without expensive pre-existing health conditions. It is not Obamacare. Short term health plans offer consumers the flexibility to choose health plans with the benefits that matter most to them and combine these benefits with broad provider networks. Additional information about AgileHealthInsurance can be found at

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