Author Topic: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!  (Read 4717 times)

cf79560

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ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« on: April 06, 2015, 05:00:59 PM »
Okay mustachians- I need help!
Someone here has probably gone through this and could offer some help/advice.

I am a professor and will be changing jobs over the summer. This leaves me 4 months (end of current contract until I'm eligible for the new insurance) without a insurance plan.

Are there any options other than short-term insurance for me? Short term plans supposedly do not meet the individual mandate for minimum coverage as far as I can find. So am I stuck paying for mine and a dependent's coverage those four months and the prorated penalty for not carrying a approved plan?

The new requirements for the ACA have me confused. Can anyone think of any way to lower our cost over the summer and avoid paying the penalty required by the individual mandate? This seems a bit whacky..I could get fired and be eligible for enrollment but for those of us trying to better ourselves it seems like a kick in the ass.

Thanks in advance

velocistar237

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geekette

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2015, 05:57:36 PM »
In short, once you lose your employer based coverage, you're eligible to enroll in a Marketplace ACA plan, or you can probably get COBRA coverage through your old job.

Frankies Girl

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2015, 06:03:45 PM »
 Losing a job (either leaving it voluntarily or getting laid off/fired) counts as a special enrollment period. I just went through this myself after quitting.

Gin1984

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2015, 06:05:11 PM »
As long as you have adequate coverage (defined by the ACA), there is no penalty.  You can get adequate coverage via the exchange or by COBRAing your current insurance.  Compare the two and see which you prefer.

Paul der Krake

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2015, 06:08:56 PM »
Are there any options other than short-term insurance for me? Short term plans supposedly do not meet the individual mandate for minimum coverage as far as I can find. So am I stuck paying for mine and a dependent's coverage those four months and the prorated penalty for not carrying a approved plan?
You are correct, and it sucks donkey balls. They should have just banned those plans entirely, or have them constitute "minimum coverage", maybe with a maximum length of 6 months or whatever.

So like others have said, unless you can work something out with either employer, you're stuck choosing between Cobra and an ACA plan.

cf79560

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2015, 07:00:21 PM »
Thanks, guys. When I called the healthcare.gov people today they told me that changing jobs did not qualify as a significant life event that would allow me to enroll after the open enrollment. They said that if I were fired, It would be different. Do you think I was told wrong?

WFUDEAC

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2015, 07:07:41 PM »
You were told WRONG! Call them up and say "I lost (will lose) my job-based coverage effective xx/xx/xxxx"

Direct from the webpage link above (bold mine for emphasis):

If you leave your job for any reason and lose your job-based coverage, you can choose to buy coverage from the Marketplace. This is true even if you leave your job outside the annual Marketplace Open Enrollment Period. Losing job-based coverage qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period that allows you to buy insurance outside the regular Open Enrollment period.

cf79560

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2015, 07:13:50 PM »
Thanks y'all!

Amy

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2015, 07:54:06 PM »
I don't know if the rules have changed with Obama Care, but back in the day when COBRA was the only option, you could easily get away without paying for insurance for those 4 months while still being covered if you needed it. Here is how:

When you lose your coverage, you then get three months before you have to decide about COBRA coverage. By the 90-day mark, say "yes" to COBRA and fill out the paperwork. You get six weeks to pay, but you will owe the entire retro-active insurance, which will be at least three months worth of premiums. By the time you have to send the money, you will be covered by your new job, so you don't actually send the money, and your option lapses.

Obviously this works best if you don't actually need insurance during that gap in time. But it allows you to effectively decide after the fact whether you really needed insurance - kind of the opposite of the idea of insurance. If you end up having an expensive medical problem during that gap, you are covered but will have to pay the whole amount of the premiums. At that point, you decide which is more expensive, medical bills or three months of premiums.

Frankies Girl

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2015, 08:04:25 PM »
Thanks, guys. When I called the healthcare.gov people today they told me that changing jobs did not qualify as a significant life event that would allow me to enroll after the open enrollment. They said that if I were fired, It would be different. Do you think I was told wrong?

I just enrolled in mid March as I was losing my health insurance after April 1, so literally a few weeks ago. I went through the healthcare.gov website, and there was a questionnaire I went through and I was allowed a special enrollment period due to loss of coverage (I quit!) and got coverage. Don't go through the phone as it sounds like they're giving you bad info; try the website.


forummm

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 06:44:14 AM »
Thanks, guys. When I called the healthcare.gov people today they told me that changing jobs did not qualify as a significant life event that would allow me to enroll after the open enrollment. They said that if I were fired, It would be different. Do you think I was told wrong?

This is wrong. The people on the phone are just call center reps working at a call center where they handle calls for many different businesses. Unfortunately, they are not experts on the law. Their next call is probably for Home Depot (making up an example) and their last call was for Walmart (another made-up example).

forummm

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Re: ACA - Help! I'm changing jobs!
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2015, 06:46:41 AM »
I don't know if the rules have changed with Obama Care, but back in the day when COBRA was the only option, you could easily get away without paying for insurance for those 4 months while still being covered if you needed it. Here is how:

When you lose your coverage, you then get three months before you have to decide about COBRA coverage. By the 90-day mark, say "yes" to COBRA and fill out the paperwork. You get six weeks to pay, but you will owe the entire retro-active insurance, which will be at least three months worth of premiums. By the time you have to send the money, you will be covered by your new job, so you don't actually send the money, and your option lapses.

Obviously this works best if you don't actually need insurance during that gap in time. But it allows you to effectively decide after the fact whether you really needed insurance - kind of the opposite of the idea of insurance. If you end up having an expensive medical problem during that gap, you are covered but will have to pay the whole amount of the premiums. At that point, you decide which is more expensive, medical bills or three months of premiums.

This is not exactly the case anymore. If you are uninsured for more than 3 months during the year you are instructed to report that on your 1040, and have the penalty assessed proportionally for each month you are uninsured. I don't know how much they are able to audit whether your checking that box actually corresponds with having health insurance though.

And if something did happen during the 3 months, you'd want to have coverage anyway.