EMERGENCY HEALTH INSURANCE IN CALIFORNIA
We get many requests for “Emergency health insurance”.
The calls usually come from one of three situations:
- “I just want a plan to cover emergency situations”
- “I need health insurance real fast!”
- “I’m in the hospital, I need emergency health insurance”
Those are the big ones.
We need to look at what options work for each situation.
They’re all different as are the options.
Let’s look at each in California and figure out the best approach.
If you need coverage for something that has already happen, Medi-cal may be the only option.
You can contact them here:
Otherwise, let’s look at options for getting health insurance quickly or to cover more catastrophic issues.
Catastrophic Coverage – “I Want A Plan To Cover Emergencies”
These people generally mean they want “catastrophic health insurance“.
They’re looking for low cost plans to cover the “big what if”.
It’s actually a smart way to insure these days but we’re a bit limited by the new ACA health law.
Let’s look at two approaches.
Short term health insurance
A person can get short term coverage which is month to month and can start midnight following enrollment.
These plans are not ACA compliant so you may still have a penalty for not having qualified insurance.
The short term plans will also eventually “term” out. You would need to get a new apply (based on health) or enroll in an ACA plan during open enrollment (usually Nov 1st – Jan 31st).
So short term is fast to enroll, for a short period of time, and does a pretty good job with emergency health situations.
You can quote California short term plans here.
What’s the alternative?
Covered Ca coverage based on income
If our income estimate for this year is within a certain range, there may be better options here.
The outcome can go two different ways.
If our income is below the minimum amounts below, you may be eligible for Medi-cal right away. This can be enrolled in any time of the year.
If your income is between the minimum and maximum for your size of household (everyone that files together on one 1040 tax form). you may be eligible for a tax credit.
Tax credits are good…real good.
For emergency coverage, we can still get a Bronze plan with the tax credit.
The income piece is tricky so call us at 800-320-6269 or run your instant quote here.
Our services are free as Certified Covered Ca agent.
If you qualify for a tax credit or Medi-cal, we should go this way since you’ll avoid the tax penalty and it could be cheaper than the short term health insurance above.
If not, the short term may be the better value for emergency health insurance.
Let us know your best estimate for this year’s income and we’ll see what pencils out better.
That’s what we do.
One note, for the tax credit option, we need to enroll during open enrollment or with a special enrollment trigger (loss of coverage, move, family make-up change, etc).
If we’ve missed open enrollment and don’t have a special trigger, we may have to go with Short term for emergency coverage.
We can help you look at your situation either way at 800-320-6269.
#2 “I Need Emergency Health Insurance Real Fast”
Many people call and they’re nervous.
They don’t have health insurance right now and short of locking themselves indoors, they want coverage fast!
Short term is the best option (at least in the near term) for fast, emergency health insurance.
You can quote the short term health plans here.
You can get an effective date as early as midnight following the online enrollment.
Enrollment takes 5 minutes and it’s all online.
Nothings faster. We can’t backdate effective dates unless you qualify for Medi-cal.
Medi-cal enrollment can happen year round and the effective date usually goes back to the 1st of the month in which we enroll.
Medi-cal eligibility for emergency coverage is primarily driven by income. Look at the table above and see if your income estimate is below the minimum range.
If so, you may be able to get Medi-cal back to the 1st of the month.
They can even help with health care bills from prior 3 months if eligible.
If your income amount is higher, short term is the next best option.
Worst case, you can get the short term and simultaneously enroll in the ACA plans during open enrollment or due to a Special enrollment trigger.
The ACA plans (Covered Ca or off-exchange) have special rules for effective dates.
Best case, you get coverage 1st of the month following enrollment (loss of group coverage)
Worst case, you get 1st of the month after one month month following enrollment.
It’s a lot of information. We know. We can help you at 800-320-6269 at no cost to you.
There’s a lot at stake to get good emergency health insurance so don’t go in alone.
#3 I Need Emergency Health Insurance. I Just Broke My Leg!!”
This one’s tricky.
It’s akin to buying house insurance when your house is on fire.
The new ACA health plans are guaranteed issue which means you can’t be declined based on health but there are offsets due to this.
For one, we have to enroll during Open Enrollment (Nov 1st – Jan 31st most years).
If we miss this Open Enrollment, we need to have a special enrollment trigger to qualify.
This can be loss of qualified coverage, move to/within California, change in family make-up, change immigration/legal status, and a few others.
Alternatively, if our income is below the minimum amounts above, we may be eligible for Medi-cal which can actually go back to the 1st of the month in which we’re enrolling.
There’s even a potential for help for emergency health care expenses in past 3 months with Medi-cal.
If your income is low, that may be the only options for existing, emergency health care needs.
Short term coverage can start midnight following enrollment but it’s medically underwritten (based on health) and generally does not cover existing conditions.
If you qualify for an ACA plan (including Covered California), the effective date will be the 1st of the month following enrollment (at best) and potentially 1 month after that (at worst).
Health insurance is not designed to address current emergency health care needs.
Call us at 800-320-6269 or run your instant quote for both ACA and Short term plans here.
We’ll see what we can do for you.
Again, there is absolutely no cost to you for our services. Call 800-320-6269 Today!