Re-introducing the 12-month Continuous Enrollment Solution
Every year under the ACA people are left without coverage due to accidental plan drops due to non-payment outside of open enrollment. In a recent article we proposed a 12-month continuous enrollment solution (annual opt-out only contracts that make accidental plan drops impossible). Another simpler solution involves at the very least offering 1 , 3, 6, and 12 month contracts. Ideally, we get both, but either one would make a big difference to many families.
A little “churn” (a clever term that describes being displaced from one’s health plan for any reason) might not seem like a big deal, but if you have ever had your plan dropped mid-year due to a billing mistake, and thus been left without coverage while owing the fee, then you know it is big. Just read this story and tell me it doesn’t pull at your heart string a bit “Non-payment” Cancellation — an HONEST Mistake – Story.
Churn hits families who don’t have access to Medicaid the hardest (as Medicaid / CHIP is offered 365 days a year, but private insurance isn’t). These are the families that will owe bigger fees, risk bigger dollars on hospital bill collections, and who often had the money in the bank to pay the insurer in the first place.
The ACA’s new consumer protections guard against rescission for most other reasons other than non-payment, it is time for America to take the next step.
We need to end the ability of insurers to drop unsuspecting customers who are then left without coverage due to new open enrollment rules.
Share your plan drop stories below, or see our detailed Health Insurance Cancellation Reform page where we fully explain the problem and our proposed solution.