This week’s Tuesday Tidbit: check out the health care coverage rules and options if you are moving to a new state – particularly if you do not have employer-sponsored coverage.

This week’s Tuesday Tip: moving counts as a qualifying event – you have a 60-day window to explore the options for your new coverage (applies to Marketplace particularly.)

So, this week, I thought I’d talk about something I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls about. These calls come from people moving to the Austin area, mainly from different states. What many people do not realize is that when they move, if they do not have employer-sponsored health care, they have to change their health care coverage.

Let’s get into the details. When I say change your health care coverage, I mean that you would have to update the information. Depending on exactly what type of insurance you have, you may not have to change it. If you have a Marketplace plan, you absolutely have to go in there and adjust it. You’d have to enter your new address and update that information. Recently, I had this happen with someone, who they were still able to pick the same plan, but they still had to update it and select it. They tried calling the Marketplace because they didn’t want to bother me. Call me instead-  this is what I do, and I am able to help you with your individual case since I know your exact needs. The Marketplace representatives were kind of pressuring her into changing plans, and she was a little confused. She called me and I told her to let me look at it. The address was updated, so I opted for the plan options. And lo and behold, the same plan she had before was still available, so we went ahead and selected that. This meant she didn’t have to make any changes to her coverage or doctors in her network.

In the above case, her coverage did not change. But many people do not realize, especially when they’re moving from out of state, that insurance greatly varies by region. Marketplace insurance varies very much from state to state. On Marketplace, ACA plans, or any the Medicare plans, the coverages vary greatly, regionally, even though it is a federal program. And of course, state by state. But people just don’t think about that. And there’s been a lot of not-happy people who had what coverage they liked in a different state, and they moved to Texas, and it’s not an option here. This is because a lot of states have their own exchanges, and thereby have their own coverages. Let’s take California as an example. California has different rules for coverage within the state, including federal coverage rules. And then California has some additional rules of things that have to be covered. And so the coverage that is available there, is probably not going to be available in Texas, since Texas does not have the same coverage rules.

It’s super important, before you move, to find out how your health care coverage is going to be affected. If you have employer-sponsored health care, you’re probably fine. I doubt very seriously, that you’d have to change that. But did you know that if you’re on Medicare, even if you move across town and change your zip code, you have to update that?

Also, when it comes to moving, even if it is just a zip code change across town, it is very important to have an agent that has access to all the different platforms. Your agent can look over things to help you find the lists where you can search for doctors. If you’re moving zip codes, you may not have to change your doctor. But, shocker – I’ve had it happen where someone moved across town, and now the plan that they had is no longer available, and now they can’t find a plan that their doctor accepts!

Always check all of this information out (among all the other things you do) when you’re moving.

Hop on over to my website for more info on this and more topics!

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