There is often a silver lining behind a disaster. In the case of Harvey the silver lining is that the devastation wreaked by the floods he caused in Texas makes the citizens of Texas eligible for an exemption from the Individual Mandate and Tax Penalty in the Affordable Care Act.
APPLYING FOR A HARDSHIP EXEMPTION FROM THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE
There is just one caveat. In order to qualify for the exemption, Texans must complete, submit and get approval from the Department of Health & Human Services. That means that they must complete the government’s required paper-work. I have attached the required form below. If you live in one of the areas of Texas that were affected by Hurricane Harvey complete, print & submit the Exemption Form to the address that you will find on the last page of the application.
When you complete the application, you will need to mark reason # 6 for your explanation of why you should be exempt from the Individual Mandate. The application will ask for an estimated date for the hardship to end. As you complete the form, leave that box blank and check off the box to the right to indicate that the hardship is on-going.
Be advised that you will get instructions on how to obtain a less expensive Catastrophic plan from the marketplace. If your only goal is to save a few dollars on health insurance, that plan will do it for you, but be aware that that plan is also compliant with the ACA. It still has all of the “Essential Benefits” required by Obamacare.
People with major health issues who have gotten medical treatment in the last 24 months, may want to consider those non-medically underwritten plans.
“FIXED INDEMINITY” PLANS
However, Texans in average health; who can pass something that has “simplified medical underwriting” will find that they can save even more with a “Fixed Indemnity” type of plan.
“Fixed Indemnity” plans provide different benefits, and pay benefits differently than Obamacare plans do. If you elect to use a plan like this, click on the link above to read the plan brochure and commit yourself to learn a new benefit system.
For example, the Catastrophic plan that HHS will give you instructions for has a high deductible. The “Fixed Indemnity” plan has no deductible, but it pays a “fixed” benefit per day in the hospital. Hospitals in Texas typically charge a minimum of $2000 a day for care. Some charge even more.
If you elect to use one of these plans, my advice would be to identify which hospital you are most likely to use and do your own research to see which of the 5 plan types would be best for you.
If after you have completed your own research, to determine which option is best for you, you decide the “Fixed Indemnity” plan is best, click on the banner at the top of the side-bar on your right. After you enter in your information, and click the blue button to review your plans, you will need to click on the second tab from the left, labeled, “Hospital & Doctor” to complete & submit your application.
The other option would be to contact me and let me know which plan you are interested in. Use the contact form below. In the comments area, tell me your zip code, county and dates of birth, sex and who uses tobacco, if anyone does. I will prepare a link to email to you with plan information and the ability to do your application from your own computer.
Please note, this option is only available for people who live in Texas. If you live in a state other than Texas, you should contact a licensed health insurance agent in your state.