I just changed my health insurance policy last month but don’t like my new plan. How soon can I switch?
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Asked September 10, 2012
You can change health insurance plans as often as you wish, but it is also important to recognize that changing companies has some disadvantages. It is not a question of whether you can change your health insurance plan as soon as possible, but whether doing so will result in a loss of coverage, additional costs or other inconveniences you had not previously considered.
First, there may be a waiting period before you are eligible for new coverage. In other words, you may have to be employed at the same location or a member of the organization offering the coverage for a specified amount of time before you are eligible. This waiting period may range from 30 days upward. To get around this, you may want to keep your current health plan until you are eligible for the new plan to avoid an interruption of coverage or resorting to costlier interim coverage like COBRA insurance.
Until recently, preexisting conditions were a reason to keep your coverage, because trying to find a health plan that would accept some preexisting conditions was difficult. Under the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, you cannot be denied group coverage for preexisting conditions, so this situation, which was once a major obstacle for many, has either already been removed or will be January of 2014 when the law becomes official.
Before you compare health insurance quotes and buy a new plan, review the policy carefully. Make certain that you will have access to the doctors you need to see, and coverage for the things that matter most, such as prescriptions and medical accessories. Not all health plans are the same, and some plans will offer lower rates but provide reduced coverage in some areas. If you change health insurance plans, make it a point to trade up, getting more coverage, better rates and a preferable network of specialists.
Answered September 10, 2012 by Anonymous