Now how do I get health insurance from June-December 2013?

Wee! Obamacare has been upheld. I just noticed that under Obamacare, health insurance is now much less of a worry for me, except from early June 2013 to the end of December 2013. You see, Obamacare lets me be on my parents’ health insurance until I’m 26, and the heavy subsidies part of it kicks in January 1st, 2014. Makes it that much more tempting to say screw getting a job after my current contract ends to pursue my dreams of being a freelance writer… except for that six-month gap in my ability to get health insurance. (Though actually, I hear it’s not that expensive to buy health insurance on your own if you’re young and have no history of health problems.)

  • Todd W.

    You can get a short term health policy which only lasts 6 months, I sell them myself. This is considerably less expensive than a permanent plan. It wouldn’t help at all with pre-existing conditions though, so if that’s a concern I’m not sure what you could do.

  • DJMankiwictz

    I believe health care should be provided for all at cost to taxes, with taxes of course taking a higher percentage from those who make more.

    This plan however, well, I know a lot of people who have no idea how they’re going to manage buying health care to stay “legal” under this. For those at a certain income range who make their living in jobs that just won’t need to provide insurance under this plan, they’re stuck in a very nasty bind.

    This all could have been avoided if the biggest and most important part of the original proposal had passed, the public option. I live in Oklahoma, so a good number of the people I’m talking about oppose Obama anyway just because he’s a democrat, but of those who are democrats or otherwise liberal themselves, this plan still scares them as they have no idea how they’ll manage to get insurance. Maybe some of the low level “almost off the grid” jobs they’ve managed to land will be able to provide insurance, most likely not, and even if they actually are legally required to provide it (not sure about that myself), they still may not. A lawsuit? None of them have the money to do that, nor do they want to risk even a little time without a living wage (and a good chance they will have a slim chance of getting rehired by other companies) in order to file such a suit.

    This “victory” feels a lot less important to me because of that. It will help some people, that’s for sure, and not to be dismissed. But, it’s woefully inadequate and the parts gutted from it could potentially really hurt some people I care about in their inability to abide by the provisions of the parts that actually are in effect.

    This ruling would get far more cheers from me if only the public option hadn’t been scrapped.

  • mck9

    My daughter turned 26 a few months ago and could no longer be carried on my insurance plan. However she was able to continue coverage under COBRA, on her own account. She’ll have to pay for it herself now, separate from my plan, but at least she is assured of being able to get coverage. She can discontinue the COBRA plan whenever she gets a job that offers medical insurance.

    Have your parents ask their relevant employer how COBRA applies to you.

    You really really really want to avoid a gap in coverage, by whatever means necessary. The obvious reason is that you might have expensive medical needs while uninsured. The less obvious reason is that, after a gap in coverage, your next policy can decline to cover pre-existing conditions.

    The rules about pre-existing conditions are changing under Obamacare, but they haven’t all changed yet.

    I may have garbled some of the details, so don’t take my word for it. Look into COBRA.

    • leftwingfox

      COBRA is useful but pricy, since you have to pay both your portion as well as your former employer’s portion. Between the lost wages on UI and the increased cost of COBRA, I couldn’t afford to continue it that last couple times I was eligible.

    • Chris Hallquist

      Can you explain more about COBRA? Links please?

      • mck9

        I am no expert on COBRA beyond my own experience, but Googling on “COBRA health insurance” provided the following FAQ, among other links:

        The idea behind COBRA is to provide a temporary continuation of health insurance coverage, when coverage would otherwise have been terminated by any of certain specific events.

        You may be able to buy individual health coverage, but the insurance companies can decline to cover pre-existing conditions. If they consider you a poor risk they can charge you higher-than-usual premiums, or they can refuse to insure you at all. You may be medically uninsurable even if you are reasonably healthy, provided that you have some chronic condition that will require ongoing treatment or medication for the foreseeable future.

        If you qualify for COBRA you are guaranteed the right to buy health insurance at group rates, regardless of pre-existing conditions. You can thereby avoid a gap in coverage while you are between jobs. If you can find comparable coverage elsewhere, that’s fine, but not everyone is so fortunate.

        COBRA is indeed pricy compared to an employer-provided plan. Any health insurance will be pricy when it isn’t subsidized.

        My first involvement with COBRA happened when I lost my job a few years ago. With COBRA I could maintain coverage for me and my family until I found another job. My second involvement happened recently when our daughter turned 26; we’re still working out the arrangements for her.

        Warning: COBRA requires discipline on your part. You probably won’t receive monthly premium notices. It will be up to you to send the checks in every month. If you miss a month, or you’re late, your COBRA coverage is terminated.

  • Brian

    Just move to Australia, Chris. Health care is top quality and it’s free – and we have an atheist Prime Minister.

  • InfraredEyes

    If you’re able to move, consider Massachusetts. There are all sorts of options available here. For example, my daughter was able to get essentially free–and good–coverage each year she was home from college, even though she had reasonably well paid internships (she’s a mechanical engineer). It is an unnecessarily complicated system, single-payer would be much better, but there really are affordable plans here for just about everyone.

    • Chris Hallquist

      Oh, Massachusetts, of couse. Yay Romney?

      • InfraredEyes

        Yeah, well, Romney might make an acceptable president if we could be sure of a solid and combative Democratic majority in the House and the Senate.

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