Whether you’ve gotten a new job or you just need a change, if you are planning on moving to a different state, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Of course, finding a place to live, schools for your children (if you are a parent), and other pertinent details are top on the list of priorities; but there is something else that you need to take into consideration when you are moving to a new state: your health insurance.
If you are moving to a new state, your existing health insurance may or may not cross state lines. Like everything related to health insurance coverage, the answer to whether or not your policy will be effective in a state other than the one you purchased it in depends.
Health Insurance and Moving to a New State
Health insurance policies and the benefits that they offer vary from state to state. The reason? – The majority of healthcare plans are linked to the state that they are purchased in. With that said, however, there are some plans that offer coverage in states other than the one that they were purchased in; generally, policies that offer coverage in a different state are PPO or POS plans. These policies provide continued coverage in different states via out-of-network coverage, meaning that you will not have to pay for medical costs out of your own pocket if you see a healthcare provider for non-emergency medical issues; rather, you will have to pay a portion of the total amount of your care and your insurance company will cover the remaining balance. For that reason, if you are planning on moving out of state, it is a good idea to consider investing in a PPO or a POS policy.
Additionally, there are policies that are available that offer coverage in multiple states. These policies offer in-network provides throughout a specific area – across state lines. They may even over coverage throughout the entire country. But, it should be noted that this type of coverage does depend on the particular plan that you are enrolled with; furthermore, all multi-state healthcare plans do not offer coverage out of state (even though their name suggests that they do).
Regardless of your healthcare plan, if you are moving out of state, your policy will likely offer coverage for any emergency medical treatment that you require; even if that care is provided in a state other than the state where you purchased the insurance. With that said, however, you should still check with your health insurance company to find out whether or not they do cover emergencies in other states, and if so, what type of emergencies they will cover.
Changing Insurance When You Move to a New State
If you are planning on moving to a new state, regardless of what type of health insurance plan you have, it is in your best interest to purchase a new policy in your new state. By doing so, you can be sure that you will be able to seek care from in-network providers and will not be required to use out-of-network benefits. Fortunately, moving is considered a life event that qualifies for seeking healthcare coverage under the special enrollment period. In other words, you will be able to purchase a new health insurance policy, even if you are moving at a time when the open enrollment period is not open. If you did have a plan through the marketplace prior to your move, you will have to report your move and start the enrollment process once you are residing in your new sate.
If you have health insurance from your employer, you may be able to keep your existing policy, though; that is, if you are moving to a new state and staying with the same employer. If that is the case, it’s likely that your employer will take care of the change of state for your insurance coverage. If you do have employer-sponsored health insurance, it is important that you make sure to find out if your coverage will be effective in your new state of residence. Speak to your employer, as well as your health insurance company, to find out the details of your policy.
Changing Health Insurance Companies
If you are moving to a new state and you are purchasing insurance through the marketplace, it’s important that you investigate all of the different options that are available to you. You can visit HealthCare.gov to find out more information about the special open enrollment period that applies to moving; or you can speak to an insurance agent that specializes in healthcare coverage. An experienced agent will be able to assist you with the process and can provide you with invaluable information and answer questions to ensure that you are properly covered in your new state of residence.