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How long can you keep your child on your health insurance plan?

If a plan covers children, they can be added to or kept on a parent's health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. Children can join or remain on a parent's plan even if they are:

Not living with their parents
Attending school
Not financially dependent on their parents
Eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan
These rules apply to both job-based plans and individual plans bought inside or outside the Marketplace.

What happens when my child turns 26?

Under-26 coverage ends on a child’s 26th birthday.

When a child loses coverage on their 26th birthday, they qualify for an SEP -
Special Enrollment Period. This lets them enroll in a health plan outside Open Enrollment.

They may qualify for tax credits and other savings based on their income.

They can enroll up to 60 days before their 26th birthday. Their
special enrollment period ends 60 days after their birthday.

If they enroll before their birthday, coverage can start as soon the first day of the month they lose coverage. If they enroll during the 60 days after their birthday, coverage can start the first day of the month after picking a plan.

If they don’t enroll in health coverage within 60 days of their birthday, they may not be able to get coverage until the next Open Enrollment period.

If they aren’t insured, they may have to pay the fee that some uninsured people pay. If they’re uncovered for less than 3 months of the calendar year, they don’t have to pay the fee.

Open Enrollment Periods

The last date to purchase individual, renewable health insurance during the first open enrollment period in 2014 was March 31st. Unless you qualify for a special enrollment period, you will not be able to buy renewable individual, health insurance again until the next open enrollment period which begins on November 15, 2014 with coverage effective dates starting no sooner than January 1, 2015.

You can however stay insured between open enrollment periods by purchasing non renewable, short-term health insurance. Our recommendation is Assurant health insurance company. Assurant health is one of the only companies with temporary health insurance that also covers outpatient and inpatient prescription drugs the same as any other illness. Many of the other carriers who offer temporary health insurance do not cover outpatient prescription drugs or if they do, they only cover a small amount after you have paid your health plan deductible. This can lead to catastrophic out of pocket expenses for those who develop a major medical illness outside of open enrollment.

About Assurant

Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. Assurant has approximately $29 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. Assurant has approximately 14,500 employees worldwide and is headquartered in New York's financial district. Assurant Health’s products are underwritten and issued by John Alden Life Insurance Company, Union Security Insurance Company and Time Insurance Company, which has been in business since 1892. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Assurant Health employs approximately 2,000 employees. Assurant Health is rating A-(Excellent) by A.M. Best ratings.

To get quotes & apply online for Assurant Health's temporary health insurance click their logo below:

You will owe a non compliance 'fine' to the IRS for buying short term insurance

You must also understand that you will be subject to a 1% of your MAGI 'fine' (TAX) for purchasing temporary health insurance since these plans do not include the "essential health benefits" under Obamacare such as Maternity for 62 year old women and single men, drug rehab coverage for those who do not own a crack pipe and pediatric dental for those without children. As such temporary policies are not considered 'qualified health plans'. Rest assured though, if you are self employed and do not over pay your taxes you will never pay that 'fine' (TAX) for the only recourse the IRS has to collect that fine is to hold your tax refund. All criminal penalties for non compliance were removed from the health care law prior to passage.

Those with 2013 Individual health plans that renew in 2014 now qualify for a “Special Enrollment” period.

The new May 2, 2014 bulletin also allows those who purchased 2013 plan from the ‘old market’ to qualify for a ‘special enrollment’ period if their 2013 plan renews in 2014. The applicants can apply for a QHP up to 60 days before their plans terminate and they may also apply up to 60 days after their plan’s renewal date. In this April 8, 2014 article I noted that before this new bulletin Assurant Health was the only carrier that was offering a QHP to those with plans from the ‘old market’ outside of ‘open enrollment’ periods. With this new May 2, 2014 bulletin all carriers will eventually need to comply. As of the date of this writing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois had not stated when they will comply. If and when they do I will add their statement to this post.

If your pre-2014 individual plan is renewing in 2014 that is a 'qualifying event' with Assurant.

Assurant Health announced yesterday that they are now honoring this regulation that states quite clearly that if you have an 'old' policy from the 'old' market (pre 2014) and that plan renews you can purchase a 2014 'qualified' Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum health insurance plan on or off the exchange on a guaranteed issue basis between open enrollment periods. This is very good news for anyone how has an 'old policy' that renews this year and is facing a large premium increase and/or has exclusion riders on their existing policy and wishes to purchase a new 2014 plan without exclusion riders.

At this juncture,
Assurant Health is the only carrier that is honoring the aforementioned regulation and as such they have a corner on the market until the next open enrollment period begins on November 15, 2014 for coverage effective dates beginning no sooner than January 1, 2014. As I stated in this recent article, many health insurance carriers like Aetna and Humana are not even offering short term (temporary) health insurance products until the next open enrollment period. The few carrier who are, offer them with dangerously low lifetime maximum coverage amounts. It must also be reiterated that if you purchase short term coverage, these policies do not cover preexisting conditions and you will be subject to a 1% of your MAGI 'fine' (TAX) from the IRS if you purchase short term coverage because those plan are not considered 'qualified health plans' under CMS and HHS regulations.

If your old health insurance plan is renewing in 2014 and you wish to get quotes from Assurant Health for a qualified replacement plan click their logo below. There is now a new section on the application where you will need to either upload a copy of your existing health insurance ID card proving that you have a policy from the 'old market' or you can fax a copy of your old ID card to the fax number provided on the application. This is necessary to prove that you qualify for a special enrollment period and an applicant with a qualifying event.

HSA - Health Savings Account qualified HDHPs - High Deductible Health Plans are still available.

Contrary to popular belief you can still purchase an HSA qualified HDHP in 2014 and beyond. The "Bronze" plan under the PPACA (Obamacare) is an HSA qualified HDHP. In fact, there are many more benefits included with HSA qualified HDHPs than there were before the PPACA. This is so because all health insurance plans sold after January 1, 2014 must now include 63 preventive care test and exams with no deductible or co pay required. Click the HSA piggy bank below to learn more about Health Savings Accounts

Most other insurers will not offer health insurance again until November 15, 2014

United HealthOne is no longer offering health insurance products of any kind in Illinois as of January 1, 2014. They do offer fixed indemnity plans, these are not health insurance products and we do not recommend purchasing fixed indemnity plans. The risk exposure is too great. United HealthOne is offering temporary health insurance outside of Illinois between open enrollment periods in 2014. Click the United HealthOne logo to apply for health insurance on or off the health insurance exchange. These plans will be available for sale again on November 15, 2014 with effective dates beginning January 1, 2015.

Depending on what your 2014 total household MAGI - Modified Adjusted Gross Income - will be, you may qualify for a significant federal subsidy under the new health care law to lower your premiums. The next date to find out is November 15, 2014 when Medal renewable health insurance plans are available again for sale during the next open enrollment period.

If your 2014 total household MAGI - Modified Adjust Gross Income - will be lower than:

$46,960 for an individual
$62,040 for a couple
for a family of three
$94,200 for a family of four
$110,280 for a family of five
$126,360 for a family of six

you will be better off financially by buying a new health insurance plan inside the health insurance exchange implemented by the PPACA - "Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act" - otherwise known as "Obamacare". By doing so, you
will qualify for an APTX - Advance Premium Tax Credit (federal subsidy) - to reduce the cost of either the Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum health insurance plans offered inside the health insurance exchange.

Click the Humana logo below to apply for coverage with Humana inside or outside of the new health insurance exchange. These plans will be available for sale again on November 15, 2014 with effective dates beginning January 1, 2015. Humana is not offering temporary health insurance coverage between open enrollment periods in 2014.

Click the Aetna logo below to apply for coverage with Aetna inside or outside of the new health insurance exchange. These plans will be available for sale again on November 15, 2014 with effective dates beginning January 1, 2015. Aetna is not offering Temporary health insurance between open enrollment periods in 2014.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois also offers temporary health insurance coverage. However, like most other carriers they only cover up to $500 of coverage for outpatient prescription drugs after you have paid your calendar year health plan deductible. Blue Cross also only allows annual payments for temporary coverage. Click their logo below to shop for temporary coverage with BCBS of Illinois.

Click the "Health Care Reform" banner below to shop for renewable Medal health insurance plans from all carriers in all 50 states both on or off the health insurance exchange.
These plans will not be available for sale again until November 15, 2014 with effective dates of January 1, 2015.

Supplemental Accident coverage

Since many consumers are now purchasing the 2014 "Medal" health insurance plans with high deductibles it makes great sense to purchase a Supplemental Accident plan so that you receive a cash payment ($5,000, $7,500 or $10,000) each time any member of your family suffers from an accidental injury (cuts, breaks, sprains, bruises etc). This cash can payment can help you pay your health plan deductible. Since accidental injuries are far more likely to occur than major medical illnesses (most especially when you have active children) many families are choosing to purchase supplemental accident expense plans. Supplemental Accident Expense plans are also a great way to save money because you can choose a higher deductible than you would normally choose knowing you will not have to pay that deductible if an accidental injury occurs to any member of your family. Click the WBA "Learn More" button below to shop for Supplemental Accident coverage:

Traditional or HSA qualified health insurance? Which is better?

Medicare Supplemental coverage

If you're over 65 or nearing that age and are looking for information and multiple free quotes on plans that will cover your Medicare deductibles and other out of pocket expenses. Please visit our Medicare Supplement page.

Life Insurance

Click the banner below for Term Life insurance quotes from all carriers:

Critical Illness coverage

In fact, Supplemental Accident Expense plans are often cheaper when coupled with Critical Illness plans. Why consider Critical Illness coverage?

Approximately 1.2 MILLION people suffer heart attacks each year. Approximately 780,000 people suffer strokes each year. More than 1.4 MILLION new cancer cases were estimated for diagnosis in 2007 alone. Between 1994 and 2004, the death rate declined approximately 31% for heart attacks and almost 24% for strokes. (Source: American Heart Association, Heart and Stroke Statistical Update, 2008.) The possibility of surviving a Critical Illness before age 65 is almost twice as great as dying. (Source: National Center for Health Statistics.)

WOULDN’T A CHECK BE BETTER THAN A GET WELL CARD? Critical Illness benefits are paid directly to you. You choose how to spend the benefit at a time when you and your family may need extra cash the most. For example:

  • Home Health Care
  • Cost of Caregivers
  • Lost Income of Self or Spouse
  • Daily Living Expenses
  • Co Pays, Deductibles & Co-Insurance
  • Non -Covered "Experimental Treatments
  • Housekeeping or Child Care Expense
  • Maintenance of Your Family's Quality of Life

American General ( has introduced a new Supplement Accident Expense plan that also includes Critical Illness coverage and it's extremely well priced. Adding this product to any health insurance plan would not only alleviate the worry of paying your health plan deductible if you or a family member where to suffer an accidental injury but it will also provide you a much larger cash benefit (up to $25,000) if you or a family member were to contract a critical illnesses such as life threatening Cancer, Stroke, or Heart Attack.  For more information about this unique and affordable plan click the brochure below. For a free quote, please contact us and we will send you quotes via email. Or call us toll free @ (866) 724 7123.

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