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Moving? Take a Look at Your Health Insurance

Understanding how moving may impact your health insurance

Written by: Andrew Hall.

Key Takeaways

  • Typically, moving is a Qualifying Life Event (QLE)Qualifying Life Events (QLE) are life changes that allow you to enroll in a new health insurance plan during a Special Enrollment Period. These include having or adopting a child, losing other coverage, marriage, a change of income and moving., and you can make changes to your existing coverage outside of Open EnrollmentOpen Enrollment is the annual time period when individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans can make a one-time plan change to any other Medicare Advantage, Medicare Advantage Part D, Part D plan or switch to Original Medicare. Medicare Open Enrollment is from January 1 to March 31..

  • 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.

Congrats on the new digs!

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?

Special Enrollment Periods and Moving

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.

Things to Consider if You’re Changing Jobs

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.

FAQs

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.

What's Next?