Switching Health Insurance

Charles Goodman Group: Friendly Chappaqua Insurance Broker

Most people get greatly discounted healthcare insurance through their employers, and these group plans typically provide more comprehensive care than individual plans. Policyholders should start by understanding their plans’ benefits so that they know what’s covered when they need treatment; group health plans vary considerably in terms of benefits and out-of-pocket expenses. When policyholders leave a job or allow healthcare coverage to end for any reason, it’s a good idea to talk to a Chappaqua insurance agent about available healthcare options. The Affordable Care Act changes some of the rules regarding existing, or grandfathered, health plans, so a new plan may need to be started before the new benefits kick in.

Many employers offer health savings plans to offset the cost of deductibles, co-pay and co-insurance, and deposits into these accounts are taken out of employees’ paychecks before taxes. It’s not possible to take advantage of these employee programs when getting insurance through a spouse’s employer, but it is possible to take advantage of special enrollment opportunities when switching coverage to a spouse’s employer. There are laws that require businesses to allow the families of employees to enroll in healthcare plans at any time when the previous family plan is no longer provided by the employee’s spouse’s employer. Otherwise, enrollment is usually restricted to an annual open enrollment period.

The insurance agent experts at the Charles Goodman Group of Chappaqua can assist you with any questions regarding automobile insurance or health insurance.

It’s usually not possible to enroll or change plans at other times of the year.

If an employee loses his job, he doesn’t necessarily lose his group health insurance. Through the COBRA program, he can keep his coverage from a previous employer under most conditions, although the former employer will no longer be paying any portion of his premiums. The cost typically increases significantly, but COBRA allows healthy people to keep their current coverage for up to 18 months and disabled people to keep theirs for up to 36 months. Another program, called the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, provides health insurance options for the children of people who have lost their jobs. It’s also possible that unemployed people and their children qualify for Medicaid, which helps out in times of unemployment.

If COBRA is too expensive and Medicaid and CHIP aren’t options, unemployed individuals may qualify for a federal subsidy to pay for a portion of their healthcare insurance. These subsidies are reserved for people earning 400 percent or less of the poverty level, so proof of income is needed in order to qualify. In this case, it’s best to use the available resources while looking for another job.