Moving Out-of-State? Here's What You Need to Know About Your Health Insurance
Updated: 2 days ago
Relocating to a new state brings excitement and new opportunities, but it also involves several practical considerations. Among them is the important question of how your health insurance will be affected by the move.
While it may seem like an added hassle, understanding the implications and taking the necessary steps to ensure uninterrupted health insurance coverage is crucial.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the potential impact of moving out-of-state on your health insurance and provide you with actionable insights to navigate this process smoothly. Discover the essential information you need to know to safeguard your health and well-being, regardless of where you call home.
Understanding Your Health Insurance Coverage Across State Lines
If you're planning to move out of your home state, it's important to consider how your health insurance will be affected. Health plans typically vary from state to state, as they are tied to specific regions. However, certain plans like PPO and POS offer coverage for medical care outside your home state through out-of-network benefits. With these plans, you'll only be responsible for a portion of the costs, while your insurance plan covers the rest. This makes them suitable for individuals who frequently travel.
Another option is multi-state plans, which provide in-network coverage across regions or even nationally. However, it's important to note that not all multi-state plans offer out-of-state coverage, despite their name.
In most cases, health insurance plans cover emergencies, regardless of your location. However, it's crucial to verify what qualifies as an emergency according to your specific plan, as definitions may vary. Simply visiting the emergency room may not necessarily be classified as an emergency, as insurers employ different criteria.
Before your move, ensure you understand your health insurance options and the extent of coverage available to you outside your home state.
Relocating Out-of-State? Consider Changing Health Insurance Plans
When relocating to a new state, it's generally advisable to switch your health insurance plan to avoid relying solely on costly out-of-network care. If your health insurance is provided through your employer, you may not need to change plans, depending on the coverage offered. However, if you purchased health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will need to select a new plan to ensure continued coverage.
Fortunately, moving qualifies as a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), allowing you to enroll in a Marketplace health insurance plan outside of the regular Open Enrollment period. If you had a Marketplace plan prior to your move, you must report the change and begin the enrollment process anew in your new location. This entails completing a similar application to when you initially enrolled in Marketplace coverage.
Reporting Your Move and Updating Health Insurance: Marketplace Coverage
If you have Marketplace coverage (Obamacare or Affordable Care Act insurance) and are moving out-of-state, there are a few ways to report your move and update your health insurance information:
Call your agent, or us here at (402) 204-8248 (Health & Life Insurance Pros), to report your change.
Log into your HealthSherpa account or create one if you don't have it. Access your plan details, click the "update" button on the right side, and report the change in your application.
Log into your HealthCare.gov account, update your mailing address in the "My Profile" section, and then go to the "My Applications & Coverage" tab. Select your current year's application and choose the "Report a Life Change" option to indicate your move.
After reporting your move, you can apply for a new Marketplace plan. Complete the application for the desired year and state, updating relevant information such as household size and income. This will provide you with important details, including:
Health insurance options available in your new location.
Associated plan costs.
Eligibility for subsidies.
Additionally, remember that your eligibility for Medicaid may change with a move, as some states have expanded Medicaid programs while others haven't. Check your new state's Medicaid eligibility rules to see if you still qualify. Starting a Marketplace coverage application can also help determine your eligibility for Medicaid in your new state.
Navigating Health Insurance During a Move: Key Considerations
1. Timing Matters: Learn when your new health insurance plan will begin to prevent coverage gaps. Act within the 60-day Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in a new plan as soon as you have a new address. If you apply between the 1st and 15th of the month, your coverage generally starts on the first day of the next month. Applying after the 15th means your coverage begins on the first day of the second month after enrollment.
2. Living in Multiple States: For those who live in different states throughout the year, choose health coverage based on where you spend the majority of your time, vote, and pay taxes. Consider PPO or POS plans with out-of-network coverage. Alternatively, explore multi-state plans with in-network providers in all potential locations. Remember that joining a new plan resets deductibles and out-of-pocket costs to zero, and it may impact tax credits.
3. Dependent Children in Different States: Under the ACA, children up to age 26 can be on their parent's health insurance plan. However, if a child resides in a different state without in-network coverage from their parent's plan, it may be beneficial to explore a separate health coverage plan for them. Compare individual health insurance options to determine the most cost-effective solution.
4. Simplify the Process: Utilize resources from HealthCare.gov and our Health & Life Insurance Pros website. to ease the stress of moving and navigate health insurance transitions smoothly. Access step-by-step enrollment guides and leverage the available information and assistance.
Moving out of state brings challenges, but understanding health insurance implications and utilizing available support can ensure seamless coverage during your transition.
For personalized guidance and to explore your health insurance options, contact Health and Life Insurance Pros today at (402) 204-8248. Our pros are ready to discuss your needs and help you obtain the coverage you require.