The Open Enrollment Period, when you are allowed to sign up for a health plan, runs from Nov. 1–Dec. 15 each year. Right now it’s February, which is pretty far away from that time frame. So if you didn’t sign up during Open Enrollment, or if you opted out of health coverage for some reason and now find that you need it, what do you do?
The first thing to do is check to see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you don’t qualify, don’t worry—there’s another option. A short-term health plan can help you score basic coverage to get you through until the next Open Enrollment Period.
How short-term health plans work
Short-term health plans require you to go through underwriting, which means they aren’t required to cover pre-existing conditions. The purpose of these plans is not to replace a regular health plan that complies with the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, but rather to give you lower-cost coverage and financial protection until you can sign up for an ACA-compliant plan.
How the WPS plan works
You can sign up for coverage for a period of 30 days to 364 days, so you choose the amount of time you need. There is no Open Enrollment Period for this type of health plan, which means you can sign up at any time.
You are allowed to sign up again, if needed, but, under the law, your total coverage period can’t be more than 18 months. When you sign up for a WPS Short-Term Health Plan, your coverage can start as soon as tomorrow!
The WPS Short-Term Health Plan gives you access to the same WPS Statewide Network as our individual health plans, so you get full access to more than 25,000 health care professional service locations, including 165 hospitals throughout Wisconsin.
You can choose the deductible amount you want, from $1,500 up to $15,000. This helps give you more control over the premium you pay. This plan offers an affordable way to enjoy medical benefits at a cost that is generally lower than COBRA or a standard individual health plan. Note that pre-existing conditions may not be covered under this type of policy.
Find out more
Head over to our WPS Short-Term Health Plan product page to get started. You’ll find out how to get more detailed information, get a quote for coverage, and enroll.
Read our blog post on understanding short-term health plans for answers to frequently asked questions and more.
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