National “Youth” Enrollment Day

UPDATE:  The Social Security Administration is taking down their systems on 2/15, so healthcare.gov will be down for a good portion of the day.  Yeah, I am shaking my head as well.

As if there weren’t enough days to remember, we now have a national day for trying to enroll “youth” in a new ACA health insurance plan.  I think it is important for everyone to be insured, but it is interesting why this date was chosen.  Also, what do they mean by “youth”?

Let’s cover the “youth” question first.  In order for the Affordable Care Act to work the way it was designed, our government needs young people to sign up in order to offset the higher cost of people nearing Medicare.  So, when the government is referring to “youth” enrollment day, they are really referring to 20-somethings, especially to people in their late 20’s that can no longer be on their parents’ policy.  Really… 20-somethings being referred to as “youth”?  Are we trying to make sure they don’t sign up?  Anyway, onto the reason why this date as chosen.

So, why was 2/15 chosen as the date for youth enrollment day?  Because, 2/15 is the last day to enroll in order to avoid a penalty for those that don’t currently have credible coverage.  This may come as a shock to a lot of people.  You may be thinking “why did the government have open enrollment until 3/31?”  Good question and one I can’t answer.  The law reads that one cannot have a gap of more than 90 days of credible (ACA compliant) coverage.  If you already have credible coverage and you want to choose a new ACA plan, why are you waiting?  I suspect people with credible coverage in 2013 either have chosen to keep what they have or have already chosen a new ACA plan.  Will the government modify this time gap?  They might, as change is more the rule than the exception with this law, but it is best to plan for what is currently in the law than to what might be changed.

As always, more to come…

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