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Affiliation period means the waiting period that must expire before the health insurance coverage provided by a small employer carrier becomes effective. Affiliation period is generally imposed by the health maintenance organization (HMO) and not by an employer and during this time the plan is not required to provide benefits to a beneficiary. Affiliation period can be no longer than three months and it has specific rules attached to it.
According to 26 USCS § 9801(c)(2)(C)(i), the term "affiliation period" means a period which, under the terms of the health insurance coverage offered by the health maintenance organization, must expire before the health insurance coverage becomes effective. During such an affiliation period, the organization is not required to provide health care services or benefits and no premium shall be charged to the participant or beneficiary.
The affiliation period shall begin on the enrollment date and it runs concurrently with waiting periods. Any such affiliation period shall run concurrently with any waiting period under the plan [26 USCS § 9801(c)(2)(C)].