Open Enrollment has closed for 2017, and for those of you enrolled in individual coverage your plans are either effective or will be by March 1st.
It is vital that you understand that if your individual policy is cancelled for non-payment it will not be reinstated.
There are usually three reason for cancellations:
- Intentional nonpayment of premiums because of financial hardship.
- The inability of the carriers to debit the credit card or bank account established to pay the premiums.
- The failure to send in an actual check in a timely manner to the insurance company.
It’s important for those of you with Off Exchange plans (those without a Federal subsidy or on MediCal), to understand the grace periods offered by insurance companies for late payments.
- IF YOU DO NOT GET A FEDERAL SUBSIDY, YOU HAVE 31-DAY GRACE PERIOD FOR MAKING PAYMENTS.
Your monthly premium payments are due the first of each month. If the premium payment is not received by approximately the 7th of the month, you will be mailed a late payment notice.
The grace period for payment begins the POSTMARKED DATE of the warning notice that your premium is overdue. It is not when you receive the letter, which can be anywhere from two days to a week after the actual letter’s postmark.
The letter will tell you when your grace period ends, and warns that you will lose coverage unless the full past due amount is paid before the 31-day grace period ends. After the grace period ends, the carrier has the right to cancel the policy, even if you have mailed in your premium payment.
If you receive a late notice, react immediately by contacting your insurance broker or the carrier directly. Do not wait until you discover your policy has been cancelled, by then it will be too late.
- IF YOUR POLICY IS CANCELLED YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO WAIT UNTIL THE 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD TO ENROLL IN INDIVIDUAL PERMANENT COVERAGE.
- Your only option if your policy has been cancelled is short term medical coverage to bridge you to January 2018, or to an event such as going on group or student coverage. Short term coverage will not cover any pre-existing conditions diagnosed within the twelve months prior to enrollment.
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