Affordable Care Act: Finding a non-compliant plan

“Is it possible to buy non-ACA compliant health insurance for 2014 and just pay the fine? I am currently on a catastrophic insurance plan that will no longer be offered in 2014. I have a low enough income (grad student) that the 1% penalty is not much compared to the cost of the insurance. I am under 30 and hence eligible to buy the cheapest plans on the exchange, but the cheapest “catastrophic” plans on the California exchanges are still quite pricey ($160/mo instead of my current $100/month).

I have been trying to find a simple catastrophic/high deductible insurance plan, but have had no luck. So my question is

a) Is it even legal for US corporations to offer non-ACA compliant (non-grandfathered) health plans in 2014?

b) Is it possible for a US resident to buy health insurance from a non-US corporation?”

Future MBA

Dear Future MBA,

There is nothing illegal about selling a non-ACA compliant plan, but traditional health insurers may choose not to so that they gather more people into the risk pools for the ACA plans.

Other insurers, such as AFLAC, will sell you what are called “supplemental” plans. These pay benefits when you have certain events happen, like an overnight hospital stay. They aren’t technically health insurance, because they do not pay the hospital; they pay you. The benefit is generally a flat dollar amount, say $100 per day, which is far less than the hospital will cost.

These supplemental plans are not the catastrophic plan that you have in mind, however.

There are no non-US corporations selling health insurance to US citizens. The way insurance is regulated, this is not practical.  Or, another interpretation is that non-US companies are too smart to get into the mess that is US healthcare system.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.