Moving? Take a Look at Your Health Insurance
Understanding how moving may impact your health insurance
Written by: Andrew Hall
Typically, moving is a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), and you can make changes to your existing coverage outside of Open EnrollmentThe Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP), also known as the Annual Enrollment Period, runs from October 15 to December 7 each year and allows you to make multiple Medicare-related changes. In addition, Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment allows changes to non-Medicare coverage from November 1 to December 15..
Before you make a switch to a new employer’s health plan as a result of your move, be sure you connect with your Human Resources department to ask questions about the new coverage.
Whether changing jobs or not, moving can impact employer-sponsored health insurance. Let your employer know about your move and ask about any possible changes to your benefits.
Congratulations on the big move! Before you start unpacking the sea of boxes taking over your living room, have you looked at your health insurance policy?
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
Most people understand the stress that accompanies a big move: finding a good school district for your kids, adjusting to a new neighborhood, settling into a new routine, and packing and unpacking your whole life.
But what about your health insurance? Sometimes moving is considered a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), which is just insurance jargon for an event that allows you to make changes to your existing coverage or enroll in new coverage during a Special Enrollment Period.
To qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, your move has to give you access to new coverage that wasn’t previously accessible to you in your old location. Sometimes, changing ZIP codes is just enough for this to happen.
If you wonder whether or not you qualify for a QLE as a result of your recent move, reach out to your health insurance company.
If your move means you’ll start a new job, make sure that you talk to the Human Resources department to learn about your new health insurance policy before moving. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure that your most pressing costs – such as your medications – are covered under any new policy you may jump on.
Even if you aren’t leaving your current company, your health insurance options and your health care cost could still change. Find out if there are any group policy changes or if your health insurance costs differ from city to city. Plan ahead and get educated about what to expect after your big move.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
How long is a Special Enrollment Period?
Most people are allowed 30 to 60 days to make any changes. Your state or federal exchange can provide exact timeframes.
How long do I wait for coverage in a new state?
When you move, your health insurance won’t travel with you. You should report a move to the marketplace as soon as possible. Getting your insurance updated will ensure you’re not paying for coverage you can’t use.