Can You Change Your Health Insurance Plan Mid-Year? A Comprehensive Guide

Team Orca
Jan 11, 2024

What happens if you want to switch your health insurance plan mid-year? Can you make that change or are you stuck? We answer these questions in this comprehensive guide.

Is Changing My Health Insurance Mid-Year Possible?

So, you're itching for a change in your health insurance plan, but you're not sure if it's even possible. Well, the answer is... it depends. But don't fret, because we're here to break it down for you.

Changing health insurance plans mid-year can be a tantalizing idea, like adding a dollop of whipped cream to your favorite dessert. It offers the potential for better coverage, lower premiums, or access to a wider network of healthcare providers. But before you start daydreaming about sinking your teeth into that delectable treat, let's explore the possibilities and limitations.

Exploring Options for Employers

Employers hold the key to unlocking the possibility of changing health insurance plans mid-year. If your employer offers multiple plan options, they may allow employees to switch plans outside of the open enrollment period.

But keep in mind, not all employers offer this flexibility. Some companies may have strict policies in place that only allow changes during the open enrollment period. Make sure to check with your HR department to see if mid-year plan changes are on the menu.

Navigating Changes for Employees

Now, let's say your employer does allow mid-year plan changes. Lucky you! But there may still be a few hoops to jump through before you can sink your teeth into that delicious waffle of a new insurance plan.

Most employers may require a qualifying life event in order to make changes outside of open enrollment. Qualifying life events can range from getting married to having a baby, or even losing other coverage. So, if you've recently experienced a qualifying life event, you may be able to indulge in that mid-year plan swap.

Enhancing Flexibility with ICHRA

An Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) can open up a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals who are eligible.

When an employer offers an ICHRA to their employees, it may trigger a SEP for those employees who were not previously enrolled in a health insurance plan. This allows them to enroll in an individual health insurance plan or make changes to their existing coverage.

The introduction of an ICHRA can be a pivotal moment for individuals who may have been without coverage or seeking different options, providing them with the opportunity to secure or modify their healthcare coverage during a designated Special Enrollment Period.

Wrapping Up: Key Takeaways

As we reach the end of this comprehensive guide, let's recap what we've learned:

  1. Changing health insurance plans mid-year is possible, but it depends on your specific circumstances.
  3. Qualifying life events are often required for mid-year changes, so keep an eye out for any significant life changes.
  4. Launching a new ICHRA can trigger a Special Open Enrollment for employees.
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