ACA Health Insurance: Understanding Your Options When Splitting Time Between States

If you divide your time between multiple states, understanding your health insurance options is crucial. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides health insurance coverage for Americans, but the plans and costs can vary between states. Let’s explore the key considerations when choosing an ACA plan in this situation.

Residency and Eligibility

To qualify for ACA health insurance, you must have a permanent address in the state where you are applying. This means you have lived in the state for at least 183 days of the year. If you split your time between two states, you can choose to establish residency in either one. However, it’s important to avoid claiming residency in multiple states to avoid legal issues.

Picking a State for ACA Coverage

When choosing a state for ACA coverage, consider factors such as:

Coverage Options: Each state has different health insurance plans available through the ACA Marketplace. The number of insurers, plan types, and premiums may vary.
Premium Costs: The cost of ACA plans can differ between states due to factors like the cost of living and healthcare expenses. Compare premiums before making a decision.
Provider Networks: The provider networks available through ACA plans can also vary between states. If you have a preferred doctor or hospital, check if they are in-network with plans in the states you’re considering.
Taxes: Some states impose additional taxes on ACA plans. Research the tax implications in each state to avoid unexpected costs.

Changing Residency

If your living situation changes and you need to establish residency in a different state, you can update your information on This can be done by creating an account and following the online instructions. However, it’s recommended to seek assistance from a licensed agent to ensure a smooth transition.

Case Demonstration

Suppose you split your time evenly between Illinois and Pennsylvania. In this case, you could choose to establish residency in either state for ACA coverage. Let’s compare the key features of ACA plans in each:

Illinois: Illinois has a robust ACA Marketplace with numerous plans available. Premiums tend to be higher than the national average, but there are options for financial assistance.
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania’s ACA Marketplace has fewer insurers, but premiums are generally lower than the national average. However, provider networks may be more limited.

Based on this information, you could choose the state that offers the best coverage options, affordability, and provider network for your specific needs. It’s crucial to compare plans carefully and consider your individual circumstances to make the most informed decision.

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