In Colorado, Short-Term Health Insurance has never been fully supported by the state and its regulations. Now the state legislature has effectively ended this option for those between jobs or families trying to temporarily dodge the higher rates of the exchange-based plans as listed on connectforhealthco.com.
Background: To step back and explain, for years the Colorado Division of Insurance allowed Short Term Health Insurance to be sold in the state for a maximum of six months. After six months, you would have to re-apply for coverage in order to be covered for another six months. This made it risky to rely on a short-term plan for an entire year because if you ended up in the hospital 5.75 months into your Short-Term Plan, you couldn’t get approved for the next six months.
And even worse, if there was a major illness or accident that required ongoing and/or follow up care, you were certain to be uninsured until the next Open Enrollment period (which would allow you to enroll into a guaranteed issue health insurance plan regardless of any pre-existing condition). Meanwhile, how would you get your knee repaired; how would you get the tumor removed; how would you manage the recently diagnosed MS …??
Then, the Obama administration reduced Short Term Health Insurance Plans to only 3-months in duration, nationwide:
This move, ancillary to the Affordable Care Act, effectively eliminated any usefulness of Short Term Health Insurance with the exception of those within a few months of qualifying for Medicare or those needing coverage while they wait for the 30-60 elimination period to expire before joining a company’s corporate health plan.
Last fall, this limitation was lifted by the current administration so that, in some states, individuals and families could enroll into a Short Term Plan for as long as 12 months, even 36 months.
On October 2nd, 2018, Colorado simply returned the Short Term Plan to its original six month duration with one caveat — you could now enroll into a Short Term Plan with two six month plans linked together, effectively allowing for the full 12 months of coverage.
However, per Colorado state regulation, you would have to go off of the Short Term Plan for six months before you could enroll into another two (linked) Short Term Plans again, assuming that your health hadn’t changed and you could still qualify for coverage. Confused yet?
Now, April 1st, 2019, we’re back to Short Term Health Insurance being effective eliminated in Colorado as Companies like National General are rescinding access to their Short Term Health Insurance in order to focus on other states with different regulations.
Does this mean that we should all move to Wyoming? Nah, there are better options, no matter how beautiful Wyoming is. Of course, if you love wind…