Don’t Fear a Missed Insurance Payment

Healthcare isn’t cheap, especially today, and with so many stipulations and rules surrounding health insurance, we might make a mistake or, worse, not even be able to afford our premiums. Paying for insurance can be tricky, but make sure you’re aware of all of your options before you give up on your current plan.

If you make between 100 and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, you probably qualified for a premium tax credit.

Luckily, because you have this subsidized plan, you are also given a 90-day grace period following a missed payment during which to either catch up on premium payments or find another plan. The original plan will still cover you for 30 days, and from 31-90, they hold your plan for you rather than drop it altogether. If you get caught up, your plan will cover whatever you needed covered during those last 60 days.

If you don’t have these subsidies, every insurer has a different policy on grace periods and levels of coverage within it, averaging at around 30 days. Direct contact and a full explanation of your situation is the only way to know for sure where you stand with your insurance company. There might not always be a good solution, and you may get dropped anyway. Prepare for out-of-pocket costs.

Finally, if this budgeting has become a constant problem even with subsidies, you may be eligible for Medicaid. Certainly look into this option.

If you do not quality for Medicaid and hence switch over, being dropped from a plan does not qualify you for a special enrollment period, so you’ll be waiting until November 1st, 2015 to use the marketplace to shop for a new plan. Plan on budgeting, and call your provider with any overwhelming bills. They are more willing to negotiate with cash-paying consumers.

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