Spouses everywhere are taking a second look at their plans now that millions of Americans have lost their coverage due to Obamacare. I’ve received more than a few questions from friends concerned about their options. Do they have to go to an exchange? Are going to need to pay out of pocket? Does this mean that they are stuck without insurance next year if they don’t want to participate?
Interestingly, most of the confusion I’m catching from friends revolves around coverage from their spouses. Specifically, my friends’ coverage is canceled and while their spouse qualifies for coverage, the notification of cancellation came after open enrollment. As a result, my friends are feeling like they’ve missed the boat to switch to their spouse’s coverage.
Is this true?
Is it too late for open enrollment?
The quick answer? It’s not too late, even if your spouse’s open enrollment for next year is over.
State and federal laws have established certain qualifying events so that enrollment can be reopened. Qualifying events include things like death or birth in the family, loss of a job and most importantly, significant changes in a spouse’s health coverage. Having your plan canceled by Obamacare would definitely count.
How do you get enrollment reopened?
All it really takes is a quick call from your spouse to his HR department. He’ll need to notify them that there was a significant change in your health care policy (ie. it was canceled). You’ll likely need to also proved some form of proof that the event occurred. The unsavory letter from your health care provider would be a good bet.
Once your spouse’s HR department reopens the enrollment period, you’ll be able to sign up on his plan.
Obamacare is reeking all kinds of havoc on the finances of Americans this year. If you are lucky enough to have a spouse that qualifies for insurance coverage, you do not need to worry about missing enrollment. However, there are often time limits in which you need to act to get enrollment reopened. Make sure you act quickly or else you might have missed your chance to change policies.