…unless, of course, Obama decides to change the rules in midstream.
The deadline for coverage is March 31, which means that if a person doesn’t have Obamacare-compliant health insurance after that, he/she is liable for a penalty. We’ve had that drummed into our heads.
But what has not gotten nearly enough publicity is that, if a person (ineligible for employment-based insurance) without individual insurance doesn’t get it by that deadline, he/she is out of luck for this year. No insurance policy (other than temporary catastrophic ones, a very special—and temporary—market) can be purchased on the individual market after that until next November 15, and if you buy one then it won’t start till January 1, 2015.
That’s how they’re dealing with the need to cover pre-existing conditions. The penalty was supposed to force people to buy insurance or pay it, but the penalty was set so low that it really doesn’t offer enough incentive. What most people are unaware of is that if they don’t get insurance by March 31 and then they have a need for coverage at some point during the rest of 2014, the answer is “Tough; you should have thought of that before.”
It’s ironic, isn’t it? And I’m not just talking about buying on the exchanges, I’m talking about the entire individual insurance market, the one Obamacare was supposedly going to fix. According to the insurance agents I’ve asked, even off the exchanges, paying full freight, and without a pre-existing condition, you can no longer buy an ordinary individual health insurance outside of those periods.
Before Democrats “fixed” the health insurance marketplace, people buying their own coverage in the individual market could do so any time of the year. In addition, if a person had purchased coverage but decided he or she didn’t like dealing with that insurer or the network of doctors, or whatever, that individual could cancel the policy and buy a different one—again, any time during the year.
Well, you can kiss that economic freedom goodbye, thanks to Obamacare…
Look for news stories in April about Americans who want to get coverage—maybe they just got a raise or extra work and feel like they have enough extra money to pay the premiums—but can’t because Obamacare slammed that door shut.
If there are enough of those stories Obama will surely extend the deadline…
To be sure, the law does allow for health insurance changes in certain circumstances, such as moving to another state, a job change, getting married, etc. But for the uninsured who failed to get coverage and for those dissatisfied with what they have, their economic freedom has been taken away.
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Taking away economic freedom.
Here are more facts about how open enrollment works, and what life-changing circumstances would allow you to apply at other times of year.