How quickly can I switch health insurance plans?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by GanChan, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I believe I have until Feb. 15th to grab a insurance plan under the current enrollment window. I want to switch from my old Blue Cross HSA plan because I can get substantially the same coverage for about half of what I'm currently paying. (I may go non-HSA for this year at least, since I hardly contributed to the thing anyway).

    My Blue Cross premium will auto-debit, I think, on the 14th. So can I assume that it makes sense to perform the switch right now, pay the initial (smaller) premium on the new policy, and then immediately cancel the BCBS plan? Or is that too tight a sequence of events to count on?
  2. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    First thing I'd do is stop the auto-debit. This will give you control over when payment occurs.

    Then sign up for what you want on

    You will automatically have a 30-day grace period from when payment is due on the old plan (call your current insurance co to confirm this). Make sure your new plan actually begins by then. I mention this because I'm pretty sure signing up before 15 Feb will have an effective date for your new plan of 1 Mar 2015. That's a 2-week interval without coverage.

    If you need health insurance (e.g. you get sick) between when the old plan ends and the new one begins, you must pay your past-due premium on the old plan in order to have the insurance. If you don't pay before using the coverage, they'll deny it.

    I think I read this on, but it was in December, maybe before. I was looking at a similar situation: would I be covered during the bridge between plans.
  3. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    Thanks for the reply. Would I be penalized for the two-week gap between coverage (apart from the obvious risk of not having insurance during that period)?
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Penalized by whom? I don't understand the context of your question.
  5. GanChan, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015

    GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I meant by the IRS....Oh wait, it appears that the ACA allow me to go up to 3 months with coverage before the tax penalty kicks in. Problem solved.

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