QUESTION

When I graduated from college I bought a short-term policy to help fill the gap until I got a job with health benefits. Does my short-term plan satisfy the individual responsibility requirement (individual mandate)?

Individuals with coverage | Individual and Marketplace Health Coverage
ANSWER

No, short term policies are not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections and do not count as minimum essential coverage. Therefore, if you remain enrolled in the short term policy, you may face a tax penalty. However, you can enroll in a plan on the health insurance marketplace during the open enrollment period, which counts as minimum essential coverage, and drop that marketplace plan if and when you become eligible for employer-sponsored coverage. Be aware that if you don’t enroll in a plan on the health insurance marketplace and wait until your short-term policy expires, you will not be entitled to a special enrollment opportunity and will have to wait until the next open enrollment period to enroll. (26 U.S.C. § 5000A; 45 C.F.R. § 144.103; 45 C.F.R. § 155.420).

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