Faith A. Bratlie – Insurance Broker

LONG TERM CARE

Medicare or your health insurance policy will not pay for long-term care expenses. These expenses are covered in one of three ways: self pay, long-term care insurance, or Medicaid — and you have to be nearly broke to qualify for Medicaid.

Long Term Care Insurance

Consider purchasing long-term care insurance the day before you’re going to need it. Unfortunately, you can’t know what day that will be, so purchasing long-term care insurance between ages 50 and 65 is a good idea. The price of the insurance goes up as you get older, and the likelihood of needing long-term care insurance increases. Coverage isn’t available for anyone over 80 years of age.

Ancillary

  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Accident
  • Critical Illness
  • Short Term Disability
  • Long Term Disability
  • Cancer Policies
  • Hospital Indemnity

(As of 2019, about 92 percent of people in the U.S. had some form of health insurance. However, when life changes unexpectedly, you may need to modify your health insurance plan to ensure it suits your needs and circumstances. The good news is that you do not have to wait for the Open Enrollment Period to make changes to your health plan. So what are some qualifying life events for health insurance change?

Here’s what to know.

LOSS OF HEALTH COVERAGE

Certain loss of coverage events will affect your health insurance needs, making it necessary to modify your existing health insurance coverage or sign up for a new plan. Below are a few.

  • Aging out of your parents’ insurance plan when you turn 26 years old. To avoid being uninsured, you have to find your own health insurance coverage.
  • Losing job-based coverage when you leave your current employment either voluntarily or involuntarily. Other qualifying life events are loss of individual and student plans.
  • Being denied or losing coverage for Medicare, Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP)
  • Losing your current health insurance for any other reason apart from failure to pay the required premiums

CHANGES IN HOUSEHOLD

A major shift in your family life can present an opportunity to update your health insurance coverage. This is why you should be aware of family changes that are considered qualifying life events. They include:

  • Getting married. Newlyweds have an opportunity to either update or choose a new health insurance plan as a couple.
  • Having a baby, adopting a child or taking in a foster child will impact your health insurance needs. To protect your eligible dependents, you should change your current health plan.
  • Divorce and legal separation can affect different aspects of your life. Experiencing one of these qualifying events allows you to get the right health insurance plan for your new family structure, budget and needs.
  • The death of a family member on your health insurance policy. This life-shattering event can result in the loss of your health coverage, allowing you to get a new health plan.

CHANGES IN RESIDENCE

Changing where you live can affect your current health insurance plan. Your existing coverage may not be available in the new location or there may be new plans to consider. This will require you to select a suitable plan that will protect both you and your dependents. A change in address can occur if:

  • You move to a different health plan area. This could be a new county or state where your existing coverage is not offered.
  • You are a seasonal worker, moving to and from your work location. Alternatively, you could move your home for seasonal work.
  • You are a student who moves to and from the place where you attend school.
  • You move in or out of a shelter or other transitional housing

OTHER QUALIFYING EVENTS

There are certain special circumstances that will qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. Understanding these qualifying events will go a long way in ensuring you are adequately protected. You can change your health insurance or buy new coverage under the following circumstances.