OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR MONTANANS LOOKING FOR HEALTH COVERAGE AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
HELENA, Mont.— In light of ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) developments, State Auditor Matt Rosendale is reminding uninsured and under-insured Montanans of additional options for health coverage outside of the normal open enrollment period for 2020 Affordable Care Act health insurance plans.
“Montanans who are looking for healthcare coverage during this time should know that they have additional options that are available year-round.” Rosendale said. “Always shop around, ask your insurance agent questions about coverage and be aware of the fine print.”
Open enrollment for individuals who buy their health insurance through the federal www.HealthCare.gov website and for small businesses with small group plans ran from November 1, 2019 to December 15, 2019 and is currently closed.
The Commissioner is working closely with CMS and the Montana COVID-19 Task Force, monitoring all possible developments that may happen at the Federal Level. If an open enrollment period is ordered, CSI will provide further updates as soon as details are available.
Below is a summary of additional options Montanans seeking coverage during this time may consider:
Direct Primary Care (DPC) Memberships
DPC Memberships provides a high-quality, affordable alternative for many people seeking routine testing or basic health care treatment.
DPC Memberships are arrangements for care between patients and their doctors, they are not insurance products. Memberships are open to anyone seeking care and most can be applied for online, at any time. There are at least eight DPC clinics operating in Montana.
Short-Term Limited-Duration (STLD) Health Insurance
Short-Term Health Insurance may also be an option for Montanans seeking health coverage. STLD plans are a type of insurance meant primarily for those looking for temporary coverage and are available for enrollment year-round.
Several major companies offering short-term plans in Montana have already announced that they will waive deductibles, copays, coinsurance and prior authorization requirements for COVID-19 testing services (Company notices found HERE and HERE).
Consumers are advised that not all short-term plans may cover testing for COVID-19. Always consult with your health plan or insurance agent about the specifics of your coverage prior to purchasing any insurance product.
ACA Special Enrollment Period
Special Enrollment for those looking to buy health insurance through the federal www.HealthCare.gov website is available outside of normal open enrollment only for qualifying individuals who’ve had certain life events, including losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child.
Montana insurers on www.Healthcare.gov have previously announced that they will waive deductibles, copays, coinsurance and prior authorization requirements for COVID-19 testing services (See release HERE).
To see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, visit www.healthcare.gov/screener.