Moving to a new home, especially if it’s in another state, can be stressful for anyone. You’ll need to do a lot of things – including finding a new home, putting your kids in a new school, getting to know your neighbors, and yes, changing your health insurance.

There are several steps that you need to take to ensure that you and your loved ones will have proper coverage. In most cases, if you have coverage from your employer, the plan cannot be moved. On the other hand, if you obtained your policy directly from the carrier, it can often be moved. The same goes for Medicare, however, HMO plans and Medicare Advantage plans do not fall under the same rule.

So the point is, never make any assumptions. You need to get the facts and ask your insurance agent about how you can get health insurance when moving out of state.

Private Insurance

If you have an insurance policy directly from an insurance carrier, ask your agent key questions like:

  1. Is my coverage transferrable if I move to another state?
  2. Do you have an agreement with other insurance carriers in the state that I’m moving to?
  3. Can I buy an insurance policy in the state that I’m moving to before moving?

Group Coverage

If your company provides a group policy to all members of your organization and their respective families, then transitioning to another insurance policy when you move to a different state will be much simpler. However, if you quit your job or get laid off, then you will have to:

  1. Seek coverage from your previous employer through the Coordination of Benefits Act (COB). You may need to pay 100% of your premiums but at least you’ll be able to continue your coverage.
  2. Consider availing of a short term insurance policy, also known as Gap Insurance. This will, at least, give you sufficient time to look for an insurance plan without losing coverage.
  3. You can apply for insurance through the Affordable Care Act during a Special Enrollment Period.

Before moving, you should already begin researching about your health insurance options. You can talk to your new employer (or current employer) as well as your insurance provider regarding the matter. Don’t wait until after the move – make your health a priority!