Health Insurance Considerations When Relocating to a New State

health insurance options when moving out of state

One disadvantage of private family health insurance is that it is not usually portable to a different state. If you and your family relocate to a new state, you are most likely going to lose your current medical insurance and will have to find coverage in your new state of residence. This is because health insurance is state-regulated, so the laws that govern your current health plan may be completely different in your new state. Most major insurance companies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, operate as separate divisions in each of the states where they offer insurance.

Research Regulations in the State Where You Are Moving

If you are considering relocating with your family, research the health insurance options and regulations in the new state before you make your final decision. Many families make the mistake of not considering the transfer or loss of their health insurance until they are well into the planning and moving stages. In situations where a family member requires medical attention for a pre-existing medical condition, a family may be unable to relocate due to their inability to replace their health insurance in the new state. Since some private health plans are portable, you first want to contact your insurance company to inquire about their policies regarding moving out-of-state.

Consider Getting Short-Term Health Insurance

Another issue you will encounter if you plan on relocating your family is the ability to apply for and obtain new health insurance in advance. With most health insurance companies, you must be a resident of the state in which you are applying for coverage. If you had not yet moved, this can pose a problem, especially if your current coverage becomes invalid the moment you move out of state. In this situation, consider purchasing a short-term health plan prior to your move. Most short-term, or temporary, health plans provide coverage nationwide and can provide your family with coverage for up to 12 months. This will allow you the time to shop and apply for health insurance once you become a resident of that new state. Not all short-term health plans are considered “creditable coverage” and may therefore not count toward having continuous coverage.