27 June 2005

tip of the week- changing health insurance

So it turns out if you want a 'proof of creditable coverage' letter from your current health insurance plan to use so you can waive the 180 day waiting period with a different company, you can't get an up-to-date letter until you've cancelled your policy. Since you need this letter to go with your new application, the only way you might swing continuous coverage is to cancel your policy two months in advance.

For example: you pay your premium to cover the next two months (July and August), but also say you want to cancel your plan at the end of that time (August 31). In theory they should automatically generate the 'proof of creditable coverage' letter once they get your cancellation notice. Don't count on it. If you haven't received it and they've had ample time to receive your notice and respond, call and ask for it. If you have a fax machine or access to one, now is the time to use it; if not, keep an eye on your mailbox because actually receiving this letter (with the correct dates on it) could take all of July.

Go ahead and fill out your new application so as soon as you get the letter, you can send it in. That should leave the month of August for the new company to work through all their steps and hopefully approve your application so coverage can start September 1.

Hopefully this isn't the case with all health insurance companies; it is with mine. I have to switch because I moved out of state, but there's no mechanism in place to make this simpler even though it's a national company. The simplest solution would be to find a job with health benefits, but that's easier written than done.


  1. Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.

  2. I hope so too. Thanks for stopping by.