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How Often Can You Switch Health Insurance?

What you should know before switching

There are two significant steps involved when it comes to switching your insurance plan. They include canceling the current policy and signing up for a new one. 

Changing your health plan from one to another might not be so easy unless you fully understand what Open Enrollment is all about.

Find out if you qualify to enroll for new health coverage.

Any person is eligible to purchase a new health care plan whenever the t enrollment period is open. All plans bought during the open enrollment go into effect at the beginning of every year. In case the Open Enrollment is not open, one can still sign up for a Special Enrollment period if there are life-changing events. 

Who qualifies for the Special Enrollment Window?

 Loss of the existing care plan

 If you lose your job as well as the employer-sponsored insurance cover or you have just graduated from college, then you automatically qualify for the Special Enrollment period. Those who have just turned 26 also qualify for the special enrollment window.

Change of residence 

You are also legible for a Special Enrollment window if you change your residence due to work or school transfer. However, your new residence or home must be of a different zip code to be able to trigger the Special Entitlement clause.

Change in your household

Change in your family set up can also trigger Special Enrollment. For example, you will be allowed to apply or change an insurance cover if you get a new child or adopt one or in case the main policyholder passes on.

Missing Open Enrollment due to a disaster or accident

If you missed Open Enrollment due to a medical accident or due to a natural disaster like an earthquake or hurricane , you can qualify for an Open Enrollment period.

What to look for in a new plan

 Before you think of changing your current plan, you should consider some of the things that lack in your current plan. You might want to check the following areas:

  • Monthly premiums
  • Copay percentages and deductibles
  • Mental health coverage
  • Drug coverage options
  • Pregnancy coverage and delivery options

What documents will you need to switch your plan?

If you qualify for a Special Enrollment period, then you will be required to give your representative documents to back your claims. The documents needed will depend on the qualifying life event in question.

Examples of some of the documents you will be asked to provide are marriage license, birth certificate, adoption record, documentation to prove loss of coverage, among other documents.

In a nutshell, you can switch your health insurance at any time you want –besides a few exceptions. 

However, you will have to provide the necessary documentation to prove that you qualify for the Open Enrollment period. Lastly, ensure that you look at the benefits of the new plan that are not available in your current health cover.

Updated on March 29, 2020

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