Many Ohio residents don't realize that we have an “Open Enrollment" for health insurance that is available most of the year. Rates are fairly affordable and it may be ideal for those with serious medical conditions. Of course, rates are based on age, so the older you are, the more expensive rates will be.
The Ohio Department of Insurance offers Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) coverage to applicants who may be unable to secure their own coverage for a variety of reasons including health issues.
(HMOs) offer an alternative to traditional insurance. It is a system in which you receive your basic health care from specific doctors and hospitals. HMOs accept individuals during their Open
Enrollment Period regardless of any pre-existing health conditions.
HMO's may refuse to accept individuals that have or are eligible for coverage:
As a federally eligible individual;
Under group continuation coverage;
As a Medicare recipient (some plans will cover this group); or
Has employer sponsored health coverage.
Things to remember:
You must live in the HMO service area to apply;
Coverage may not start until 90 days after your month of enrollment;
An HMO may be granted a waiver or limit for their open enrollment period.
Here is how you enroll:
Call the HMO serving your county (at the beginning of their expected date) to confirm their scheduled open enrollment will take place; Apply early as applications are taken on a first come basis. You may request an application be mailed to your home address; you do not have to apply in person.
If you need additional assistance after contacting the plan:
Contact the Consumer Services Division of the Ohio Department of Insurance at (800) 686-1526.
Also, the Ohio Risk Pool, which was created as part of recent national health care reform, may also be an option to consider. There are various requirements that have to be met. But if you are uninsurable and have been without coverage for six months, it should be considered.
***Special thanks to the ODI website.
Edward Harris is one of Pa's leading insurance brokers.
UPDATE: December 2013. Open Enrollment has taken a new meaning! Now that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has been passed, pre-existing conditions are covered and you can not be denied for medical reasons. And a substantial tax subsidy is available for applicants that qualify.