Navigating ACA Coverage Transitions After Moving to a New State

Moving to a new state can be a stressful experience, and it’s important to ensure your health insurance coverage transitions smoothly. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows individuals to maintain their health coverage when they move, but certain steps must be taken to avoid any lapse in coverage.

Understanding Special Enrollment Periods

When you move to a new state, you are eligible for a special enrollment period (SEP) under the ACA. This gives you a window of time to enroll in a health plan in your new state, even if it’s outside the regular open enrollment period.

SEP for moving typically begins the day you move and lasts for 60 days. If you apply for coverage during this period, your coverage will start on the first of the following month or the first day of the second month, depending on the timing of your application.

Steps to Take When Moving with ACA Coverage

To avoid a coverage lapse when moving to a new state, it’s crucial to follow these steps:

1. Notify your current insurer: Inform your previous health insurance provider about your move as soon as possible. This will help them terminate your coverage in the old state.
2. Apply for coverage in your new state: Visit or contact a licensed agent within 60 days of moving to enroll in a health plan in your new state.
3. Choose an effective date: When applying, you can choose the effective date of your new coverage. If you apply before the 15th of the month, your coverage will start on the first of the following month. Otherwise, it will take effect on the first day of the second month.

Maintaining Continuous Coverage

Even if you take these steps, there may be a brief gap in coverage while your new plan is being processed. To minimize this gap, consider the following options:

Extending coverage in your old state: Some health plans may allow you to extend your coverage in your old state for a short period if you notify them about your move.
Short-term health insurance: If you’re facing a prolonged gap in coverage, you may consider purchasing a short-term health insurance plan to provide temporary coverage until your new ACA plan takes effect.


Moving to a new state with ACA coverage requires careful planning to ensure seamless transitions. By understanding the special enrollment period, notifying your current insurer, and applying for coverage in your new state promptly, you can minimize any potential coverage gaps and maintain your health insurance protection. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s always advisable to consult with a licensed health insurance agent for guidance.

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