How would you feel if you traveled from one state to another and then discovered that your healthcare insurance plan doesn’t cover you once you’ve crossed state lines? It’s an understandably upsetting discovery, since you then would have to pay for healthcare costs yourself or purchase a new plan, likely with a higher premium.
Unfortunately, health insurance transferability across states is still an issue that affects many Americans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 36 million people moved in 2012, and many of them moved from one state to another. That’s a large number of Americans concerned about this issue.
The majority of U.S. border-crossers are affected by red tape and legislation that can make transferring health insurance from one state to another virtually impossible. Residents of other countries entering the U.S. may have equal difficulty transferring their health insurance plans.
According to a statement by Steven B. Larsen, J.D., Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight with the Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows health care to be sold across state lines when both states agree and consumer protections are maintained.”
The ACA would allow states to form interstate compacts to sell health insurance across state lines, and private insurers to create multistate plans to offer through state exchanges. However, there is confusion over the issue of each state maintaining its own consumer protections, plus concerns that selling health insurance across state lines would cause premiums to increase.
The best way for policyholders to avoid this confusion and minimize worries? Despite recently created state health insurance exchanges and a barrage of insurers offering health insurance policies online, the wisest and most effective course of action is to work with an agent you know and trust to help you navigate these tricky waters.