Enrollment for the year 2021 ends on Tuesday, December 15 2020 in most states. It’s better to look for options and shop in advance rather than end up being stuck with the wrong plan for a year.
Changes after the expiration of the open enrollment period need to be warranted by a qualifying event. When can you change your health insurance plan after open enrollment ends and how can you do that?
Can You Cancel Health Insurance When It Is Not Open Enrollment?
Open enrollment is generally the only time you can make any changes to your insurance. However, you can cancel your health insurance when it is not open enrollment. You should note that you will not be allowed to purchase new insurance unless you experience a qualifying life event. Before you move to cancel your health insurance, talk to your HR department or insurance provider about other options you may have. A lapse in insurance can get very costly in certain circumstances.
Can I Change My Health Insurance Plan After Enrollment?
Unlike popular opinion, you can change your health insurance plan after enrollment, but certain conditions apply. If you think your plan is insufficient, too costly, or is just not providing enough coverage, then a qualifying life event allows you to change or upgrade it outside of open enrollment as well. For many people, the definition of a qualifying life event is not clear. You may not automatically qualify for a change outside of open enrollment if you shift into a new apartment, or switch states. A qualifying life event generally falls into either of 3 categories:
- Losing your insurance plan: Turning 26 can automatically disqualify you from staying on your parents’ plan. You may also lose your insurance if you quit your job, are fired, lose eligibility for your student health plan, or lose eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), your COBRA coverage expires, or your individual or marketplace insurance provider discontinues.
- Change in Household: Having a baby changes your household. Other changes include getting married or divorced, or being legally separated, or being abandoned by your spouse, adopting a child or gaining a dependant for example after being married, or losing a dependant for example after a divorce, or the death of someone on your plan.
- Change in residence or status of living: If you change your state, and your insurance provider does not provide coverage in the new state, then you may be able to qualify for a new plan. The change in your residence may also come if you gain a green card, or legal residence in the country some other way, or you move to the US from another country or move away from the US, if you move into or out of a shelter or other public housing facility, or if you are moved to prison or get released from one.
All of these events are counted as life-changing events. Besides this, certain other events like a natural disaster or a life-threatening, serious medical condition may also qualify you for insurance after enrollment. You must also document the life changes as closely as you can. You only have within a certain time limit to file for a change in insurance due to a qualifying life event.
How Do I Change My Health Insurance When I Move?
You may qualify for better plans or may have to get altogether new coverage when you move, even if it is not an open enrollment period. You should update the Marketplace about your move as you can. Some states run their own Marketplace as well. If you are not covered by your old health plan in your new state, you will have to fill your application either in your state’s own Marketplace or the open Marketplace.
You can even call the Marketplace, and be guided by a representative about your potential health plans.
Can I Drop My Health Insurance Without A Qualifying Event?
You can drop your health insurance without a qualifying life event, but employer-offered plans can not be dropped out of open enrollment unless you have a qualifying life event.
How To Change Medicaid Insurance Provider?
States offer a lot of different plans if you qualify for Medicaid. Your state has the right to assign a plan to you if you do not do so yourself. You can change your plan at any time within the first 90 days of your plan. You can either change your plan within the first 90 days of your plan or through a qualifying life event or as part of the special enrollment period.
When you enroll in Medicaid, you receive an initial package from your state’s Medicaid office. This package outlines the plans that you are eligible for. If you are unhappy with the plan you are enrolled in, you can change it within the first 90 days of being enrolled. You can do so by logging onto your online account with Medicaid if you have internet services. You can also log onto HealthCare.Gov if you got your Medicaid from there. You will need your Medicaid ID number to set up your account on their website. Certain doctors do not accept all insurances. Check with your program to see if your health care provider is covered under your coverage if you have a special doctor or a special clinic you go to. Choose a plan that covers your special requirements.
If you experience a qualifying life event, you will need to provide the documentation to prove it. You need to prove the life event and update your state Medicaid about it within ten days of experiencing it otherwise you might end up losing your benefits as well. You may need to provide a birth or death certificate, adoption papers, a marriage or divorce certificate, etc. You must notify your Medicaid provider of any changes in your life, even if they do not warrant a change in your plans. Talk to your Medicaid provider about the new plans that you may now be eligible for. You can also visit your nearest state Medicaid office to get further information about your new plan providers if you are eligible for any.
After you have been enrolled in Medicaid for a year, you will receive information about open enrollment when it comes around. During the open enrollment period, you will be able to change your Medicaid health plan provider without having any prior reason to do so. You can compare the plans online or go to your state Medicaid office to get better rates from different providers. You can also set up a meeting with a Medicaid counselor to get more help with your plan.
It is not possible to change your health care plan after enrollment unless your current insurance provider drops your coverage, or you experience a qualifying life event. Make sure to carefully consider all options before you cancel your health insurance out of the open enrollment period.