Navigating ACA Health Insurance for Out-of-State Internships: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding ACA Coverage Changes for Out-of-State Stays

If your family is enrolled in an ACA health insurance plan in one state, it’s crucial to understand how coverage is affected when a member spends time in another state, such as for an internship. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides options to ensure continuous coverage during these temporary relocations.

Special Enrollment Period for State Moves

For individuals who move to a new state for an extended period, the ACA offers a “special enrollment period” (SEP). This allows individuals to enroll in a new health plan in their new state without having to wait for the regular enrollment period. To initiate this SEP, individuals must provide proof of their move within 60 days of relocating.

Options for Maintaining Coverage

There are two main options for ensuring continuity of coverage:

1. Keep Current Plan and Purchase Supplemental Coverage

If the individual’s employer offers health insurance coverage during the internship, they can keep their original ACA plan and purchase supplemental coverage for the duration of their stay. This option allows them to continue accessing their in-network providers and maintain coverage for pre-existing conditions.

2. Enroll in a New State Marketplace Plan

Alternatively, the individual can enroll in a health plan through the state marketplace in the state where they will be located for the internship. This option provides access to a range of plans and may qualify the individual for subsidies or financial assistance. It’s important to note that this option may involve changing the household size and income information on both the original and new plan applications.

Layering Health Insurance Policies

Layering health insurance policies, such as keeping the original ACA plan and purchasing supplemental coverage, can provide additional financial protection against catastrophic medical events. However, it’s crucial to consult with a licensed insurance agent to ensure that the layering strategy is not restricted or impacts subsidies.

Importance of Coordination

To avoid coverage gaps or paying unnecessary premiums, it’s essential to coordinate the transition between the original ACA plan and any new coverage. Individuals should notify their original insurer and the new insurer of the start and end dates of their time in the other state.

Consulting with a Licensed Insurance Agent

Navigating ACA health insurance can be complex, especially when involving out-of-state stays. Seeking guidance from a licensed insurance agent can provide expert advice, help individuals understand their options, and ensure they maintain adequate coverage throughout the internship period.

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