Legislative Spotlight: ACA Q&A Series
Over the next few months, Crawford Clay, CCA Patient Advocacy Coordinator, will be answering your questions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in this ongoing series. Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured.
Q: Can patients change employer-provided plans/insurance companies during the course of treatment without pre-existing exclusions? And has the ability to keep your insurance from one job to the next been implemented, even if the carrier or plan is not available to the new employer? - Amr R.
A: If you are moving from group plan to group plan, the short answer is yes. As we get closer to January 1, 2014, it becomes even clearer.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers to guarantee people access to insurance. Once the ACA reforms go into effect on January 1, 2014, you can no longer denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
If you plan on switching insurance plans before January 1, 2014, there are still options. If you are moving from a group plan to a group plan and will not have an interruption in coverage of more than 63 days, you are not subject to a pre-existing condition clause. If you think may have an interruption in coverage of more than 63 days, you should investigate COBRA. COBRA allows an individual to continue to pay for his or her employer sponsored health insurance for a period of time after leaving a job. The individual pays the full cost of health insurance plus a 2% administrative fee. Learn more about COBRA or read more about insurance portability.
If your new employer does not offer a comparable or a plan that covers your doctors or treatments, you may look at individual plans or alternate commercial plan options through your preferred carrier. The federal government is developing this site to help you find a new insurance plan. As January 2014 approaches and more states implement their state health insurances changes, this site will be more robust. Learn more about pre-existing condition insurance plans.