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Individual Health Insurance & moving out of state
Old 02-01-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
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Individual Health Insurance & moving out of state

I am planning on moving from NJ to another state and need to purchase an individual health insurance policy for DW & myself.

An eHealthInsurance rep said that I need a local address to apply for coverage in a state & my research online seems to agree. But I want to be sure to qualify for health insurance before I move.

Has anyone faced this situation? How did you resolve it? Is there a way to be pre-qualified for health insurance?
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:24 PM   #2
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NJ is a guaranteed-issue state, so you won't find anything out by getting a policy there and you probably can't take your coverage with you from any of the companies that operate there....is there a specific condition you're worried about? You should talk to an independent agent in the state you're moving to, not eHealth. Using an agent costs you $0, better to talk to someone who has a stake in your best interest than a call center rep making $10/hour.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:54 PM   #3
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Good tip. I will look for an insurance agent there. We already have a policy here in NJ. I have applied to mib.com to see what they have on us.

We are healthy and fit, but I have heard horror stories of people being denied for seemingly minor issues. I would like to be sure before we move.

Still hoping to hear from someone who moved to a new state while on private health insurance.
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portable health insurance policy
Old 02-04-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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portable health insurance policy

Anyone buy a policy that they asked upfront that it be portable? Or at least that it have a nationwide network so that if they travel a lot or decide to rent in one place for a few months it covers you?

Any full time RVers out there??
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dgoldenz View Post
NJ is a guaranteed-issue state, so you won't find anything out by getting a policy there and you probably can't take your coverage with you from any of the companies that operate there....is there a specific condition you're worried about? You should talk to an independent agent in the state you're moving to, not eHealth. Using an agent costs you $0, better to talk to someone who has a stake in your best interest than a call center rep making $10/hour.
This is what I did, and I came to the conclusion that there was a significant probability I couldn't pass underwriting in the state to which I was moving. So I took out a relatively expensive guaranteed-issue inidividual policy from the state I was leaving (NY) that was portable (there was only one insurer in NY who wrote those types of policies at that time) as a fallback. It was good I did, because when I arrived to my new state I applied for health insurance and was rejected. In addition, I lucked out further, because the insurance company's rate schedules were lower in my new state, so my premium unexpectedly dropped 50% when my policy was renewed the following year.

If such a policy exists in NJ today you might want to grab it before you leave.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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We too were rejected when we moved from NY to Fl - even though we were "pre-qualified" by BCBS. The reason given for DW's rejection was pitiful. Worst of all, the rejection took 45 days - leaving only 15 to find an option that would prevent loss of pre-existing conditions coverage.

An agent in the intended state should be able to qualify you - the reasons for rejection are pretty well known.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:21 PM   #7
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We had private insurance while living in TX. I contacted BCBS of NM and told them I planned to move there. I already had a lot in NM and used that address. I filled out all of the medical info and they mailed the policy to my NM address. If you know where you plan to "live" until you find a home, couldn't you use that address. A bonus for us was 2/3 reduction in premiums and no exclusions. We have catastrophic insurance with a really high deductible, but it's worked for us for 15 years (ER'd in '96).
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:08 PM   #8
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DW and I were wondering the same thing.

We are in NY with a good policy that allows out of network but with additional co-pay, deductible and the possibility of being balanced billed. I used the policy to get a hip resurfacing in South Carolina and it worked out fine (both the surgery and the payment). But it required an enormous amount of work to make sure that I would not face a big bill for any balance that the carrier would not pay. The policy really is not portable in a true sense and is tied to my bar association. I need to be working to keep it. I think one of the providers is BC/BS with a truly portable policy but I hear it is over $30k per year.

We have thought about retiring to Florida what with the real estate so cheap, but it seems that the health insurance strategy between now at age 60 and getting medicare at 65 may be an impossible mountain to climb.

We have been discussing Costa Rica as a place with good yet affordable health care for that 5-6 year period.

I too would appreciate any stories or strategies.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:35 PM   #9
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We are looking to move out of MO and have been looking into portability of the difference individual policies since we are in the market to replace my COBRA. From what I can tell, it depends on the insurance company. If they sell in the state you are going to, it might be portable but it probably will cost different. The good side is you might not have to go through underwriting again.

You need to call the company but beware ... I have gotten different answers from 3 agents at Humana and two different answers from agents/brokers about policies.

What a nightmare. It's a good thing I am FIRE so I have the time to do this! (And the weather stinks so I don't mind being indoors.)
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FIRE'd@51 View Post
... So I took out a relatively expensive guaranteed-issue inidividual policy from the state I was leaving (NY) that was portable (there was only one insurer in NY who wrote those types of policies at that time) as a fallback. ...

If such a policy exists in NJ today you might want to grab it before you leave.
Thanks for the idea. Unfortunately, from what I can find online, none of the insurers in NJ offer plans in CO. Aetna is pulling out of CO and it looks like Cigna has already pulled out of the individual health market in NJ. The other providers in NJ are Amerihealth, Oxford and Horizon BCBS of NJ. I'll call Horizon and see if they have any agreements with their counterparts in CO.
Thanks again.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:55 AM   #11
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"I'll call Horizon and see if they have any agreements with their counterparts in CO."

You might try calling BCBS in CO and/or the department of Insurance in CO. We called the one in OR and explained our situation. She was a wealth of info. She gave us the number of the OR BCBS "Interstate Marketable" (?) Anyway that woman looked up and found they do have a policy for BCBS customers from out of state to apply without going through underwriting. (She had to look it up. SHe didn't know about it.) She is sending us the info via snail mail. The MO BCBS told us it is not transportable.

We are now going to call all the BCBS in the states we are currently interested in and see if they have the same program.

Also, I called UHC again and the sales person told me that the UHC policies were portable in all 50 states. When I asked for something in writing he connected me to Customer Service, who again was very helpful and suggested we only talk to the CS people, not sales with our questions. SHe said "the sales people a lot of time don't know what they are talking about." (This kid insisted that the policy was transportable and he knew this because he was TRAINED. CS said "nope it's not if they don't sell policies in the state.")

Good luck!
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:00 AM   #12
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We moved from California (Blue Shield) to New Mexico (BCBS). We were in our late forties, healthy except for high blood pressure, and had no trouble getting our insurance in NM. The rate was less than half what we were paying in CA and for better coverage too.

During the move we had a PO Box - that might be enough for an address?
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Early Retirement Healthcare issues
Old 01-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #13
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Early Retirement Healthcare issues

I retired in Sept 2010 from NY from a small town. We are in SC and trying to get insurance. The town uses a small co. that is not available here, so it looks like we will have to go with individual instead of group. Also, they are telling us that the Cobra law comes into play with our dental and vision, even though other retirees who stayed in NY are still getting it by paying the premium. Dental and vision coverage is national. So anyone have any ideas on how to get covered in SC, wife has a pre-existing condition that puts her in a high risk pool? Can I get insured cheaper and in a group in NY and then take it out of state? Group ins won't decline us.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:46 AM   #14
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I retired in Sept 2010 from NY from a small town. We are in SC and trying to get insurance. The town uses a small co. that is not available here, so it looks like we will have to go with individual instead of group. Also, they are telling us that the Cobra law comes into play with our dental and vision, even though other retirees who stayed in NY are still getting it by paying the premium. Dental and vision coverage is national. So anyone have any ideas on how to get covered in SC, wife has a pre-existing condition that puts her in a high risk pool? Can I get insured cheaper and in a group in NY and then take it out of state? Group ins won't decline us.
Are you on COBRA now? If so, how long have you been on it?
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:27 AM   #15
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We are still on town's healthcare as it is a benefit of retirement. Unfortunately, we can't use the same thing in SC. We are currently out of network, and the town is pushing for us to change. the hmo is not. if I go, she gets dropped. so we are not sure what to do.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:38 AM   #16
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What's the wife's pre-ex condition? This is a common problem people face when moving out of NY since so many of the group health insurance plans are HMO's that are only in NY/NJ area.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:28 PM   #17
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While the town is "pushing you to change", can they force the issue? If not, hang tough. You've earned the retirement insurance and if there was nothing in the agreement that prevented you from moving to another state, then they need to honor that.

Secondly, call an insurance agent in SC and explain your situation. They can explain the options you have in case the NY town does drop you.

All the best.
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