The Special Enrollment Period, Qualifying Life Events, and changes to income are VERY date sensitive. It can also be a little confusing in terms of what dates to use. If you don’t enter the correct dates, such as when income stopped or started, the application process can go sideways and you might be determined eligible for Medi-Cal. When in doubt, call your agent or the Covered California customer service line to determine the correct dates for your qualifying life event.
Covered California has come under pointed criticism from the health insurance companies for their lack of verification of a consumer’s Qualifying Life Event (QLE) for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). That will change as of August 1, 2016, when Covered California will start a program to randomly sample consumers who have enrolled in health plan outside of Open Enrollment under a QLE. Selected consumers will have to provide verification that they actually do have a QLE that makes them eligible to enroll outside of Open Enrollment such moving into California or the loss of minimum essential coverage like Medi-Cal or employer group coverage.
Under the Affordable Care Act, individual and family plans (IFPs) will have coverage benefits very much like an employer sponsored small group plan. Another way in which the new IFP plans will mirror a group plan are enrollment restrictions. Individuals and families will only be able to enroll into the new IFP plans outside of open enrollment if there is a “qualifying event”.
Provisions within the Affordable Care Act will reduce accidental pregnancies that are at a higher risk to be aborted. With the increased availability of no cost contraception to women, pregnancies will be planned and abortions reduced. In addition, the financial uncertainties of carrying a pregnancy to term will also be reduced as all health plans will cover maternity benefits.
The astonishing outrage being leveled at the White House, and more specifically, although indirectly, against women (by denying free access to birth control coverage), is yet another rouse to take the country’s eye off the multiple, critical balls in the air — jobs and the economy – and further fuel political hatred for the black guy sitting at the big desk.