Some health insurance policies never were designed to stand alone. These limited benefit plans do not satisfy the Obamacare requirements for minimum essential coverage (MEC). MEC includes the following essential health benefits: 



Am I underinsured?

Individuals who have such plans may find that they owe the health insurance penalty when they file their taxes. Many of these limited benefit policies have names similar to those that satisfy Obamacare. Just to clarify, most Medicaid and TRICARE plans fulfill the requirement. Some of the limited benefit plans include:

  • Stand-alone dental or vision plans
  • Accident, disability, or workers’ compensation insurance
  • Medicaid, which covers only pregnancy-related services, services related to starting a family, tuberculosis treatment, or emergency treatment
  • Medically needy Medicaid programs intended to help relieve the costs of expensive treatment, such as chemotherapy for cancer patients
  • Limited benefit TRICARE line of duty programs, which provide treatment for illness or injury resulting from military service
  • Limited benefit TRICARE space available programs that share only the cost of medical treatment received
  • Certain limited-benefit AmeriCorps and AfterCorps programs available to state or national guardsmen.


What do I do now?

If your policy doesn’t include all 10 essential health benefits, and you aren’t covered by a qualified health plan, you could be subject to the Obamacare penalty.  Some of these limited benefit plans make you eligible for an exemption from the penalty. Check out our online Health Coverage Exemption Guide to see if you qualify. For more information call our ACA Hotline at 800-673-8600 today.


-- By Alice Robeson