CHEYENNE – Losing health insurance coverage can be a frightening experience, especially if your employer plan covered your family. If you or a family member have chronic health conditions that require frequent doctor visits or prescriptions, losing coverage can be even more significant. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming can offer expertise to help those without employer-based health insurance navigate through a difficult life event.
Losing health care coverage is a “qualifying event” that allows individuals to take advantage of a special enrollment period for other types of coverage. Here are three tips to help those who may have recently lost coverage find a health insurance plan for their family.
Spouse Health Insurance
Insurance through your spouse may provide the most cost-effective options – many employer health plans allow their employees to add family members who have lost coverage. Make sure you apply for your spouse’s coverage within 30 days as some employer plans limit special enrollment to 30 days. “Many people may not realize that they can transition to a spouse’s insurance,” said Wendy Curran, of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming. “A person should find out the Special Enrollment period time length on their spouse’s plan to be sure they don’t miss a deadline.”
Private Health Insurance
Blackjewel employees, or others who no longer have employer-based health insurance, can purchase health insurance through the federal insurance marketplace, frequently called the Health Insurance Exchange, or directly from a health insurance company.
The Exchange recognizes a special enrollment period of 60 days following official notification of the termination of coverage. Coverage options and premiums on the Exchange can be compared on the website HealthCare.gov. The Exchange is the only place where premium assistance and other cost-sharing financial assistance is available for those meeting certain income categories. “An expert can help people use the Healthcare.gov website to find the best value available,” Curran said. “Health insurance is still available for those who don’t qualify for assistance, but it may have higher premium levels. That’s where we can help explain the confusing parts.”
Existing Protections for Coverage
Protections exist today for people with pre-existing conditions that mean you can purchase individual health insurance without any restrictions or limitations because of your medical condition. “Many people worry that if they lose their employer-based coverage that they may not qualify for a new policy because of a pre-existing condition. For plans offered on the Exchange, that is no longer an issue,” Curran said.
For information about available coverage options, please contact your local Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming office and a health insurance expert can walk you through HealthCare.gov and explain the various plans available.
For questions or assistance, please contact us through any of the methods shown below.
Gillette Member Center
405 West Boxelder Rd Suite B5
Gillette, WY 82718
Office: (307) 682-5001
Toll Free: 800-851-2227
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming (BCBSWY), a not-for-profit health insurer and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, provides access to high-quality healthcare coverage, services, and programs to help our members make the best healthcare decisions and get the best care. BCBSWY is currently the only company in Wyoming offering insurance through the federal Health Insurance Exchange. Learn more about us at BCBSWY.com.