What Happens With Unpaid Medical Bills !!

There's a grace period for overdue insurance premiums when you purchase your own coverage, but the length of the grace period depends on whether or not you're receiving a premium tax credit (health insurance premium subsidy) to help you pay for the coverage you bought through an Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange.

If you're receiving a premium tax credit and you've already paid your first monthly premium to effectuate your coverage, your grace period is 90 days. If not (in other words, if you're paying full price, either through the exchange or directly through an insurance company), your grace period will generally only be one month.

Pre-ACA, 30-day grace periods were the norm. But the text of the ACA includes a requirement (see Section 1412(c)(2)(B)(iv)(II)) that insurers offer a 90-day grace period if a person is receiving premium tax credits.

Is There a Penalty for Being Uninsured?

From 2014 to 2018, there was a federal penalty for being uninsured. The penalty was based on your income and depended on the number of months you didn’t have health insurance coverage for at least one day.

The federal penalty was reduced to $0 as of 2019, so people who are uninsured are no longer subject to a penalty on their federal tax returns.

Options for Coverage After Your Plan Has Been Canceled

Losing your health insurance because you didn’t pay your premiums does not make you eligible for a special enrollment period on the health insurance exchange or outside of the exchange (ie, directly through an insurance company).

You won’t be able to sign up for an Obamacare plan again until the next annual open enrollment period, unless you experience certain qualifying life events.

Medicaid: The Medicaid program has strict income limits to qualify but allows enrollments all year long to those who qualify. The majority of the states have expanded Medicaid under the ACA, which means coverage is available to adults with household income up to 138% of the poverty level.

Job-Based Health Insurance (Initial Enrollment Period): If you get a job that provides health insurance, you’re allowed to enroll during the initial enrollment period that occurs shortly after you start your employment and become eligible for coverage.