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Timing for changing domicile in 2017


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Hi --

 

It looks quite likely that I will need to change domicile for 2017 to get the health insurance product with the attributes that I want. I am under 65 and buy off-exchange. I am a Texas resident.

 

Here's the question: suppose I decide in Nov 2016 that for 2017 my best choice is in Florida. Do I enroll for 2017 in Florida while still a Texas resident, and do the domicile paperwork/DL/ etc in FL approx. Jan 1? Do I quickly haul over to FL in Nov to establish domicile in an afternoon, and then enroll for 2017? And if I do that, what happens to my Texas-based insurance for 2016?

 

Or can I enroll for 2017 at a FL Escapees address during open enrollment, not tell my Texas insurer that I"m moving, and then in 2017 take my sweet time to get to FL and do the whole driver's license/voting/insurance switch?

 

Of course, this is complicated by the fact that I hope to be in Asia for Dec/Jan/Feb ...

 

Any advice about the timing or sequence of events when changing domicile state effective Jan 1 for health insurance reasons greatly appreciated!

 

 

Cheers!

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First, I read your post to my wife who was an attorney before she retired. She said she used to get a lot of people who would essentially ask questions like yours -- looking for permission to do something illegal.

 

Second, any reason you're buying off-exchange instead of from the ACA?

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Excuse me, but what is illegal?

 

It is not illegal to change state of domicile, and there has been long discussion here about different insurance products being offered in different states, as well as different products being offered on and off exchange. If there is not a reasonable PPO with nationwide network offered in Texas in 2017, I will change domicile to a state -- perhaps Florida -- that does offer such a product.

 

That is not illegal.

 

My question is about the timing: Open Enrollment is Nov 1-Dec 15. If one is going to change states effective Jan 1, then what is the timing/sequence of events?

 

I would remain a Texas resident through 12/31 and retain my insurance coverage for 2016 in Texas. I would become a resident of the new state effective 1/1/2017, and have my insurance coverage in that state.

 

That is not illegal.

 

As for buying on or off exchange: one is not required to buy an individual policy through healthcare.gov. That is a matter of personal preference, qualification for and desire for subsidies, and where the insurance product one wants is offered. Buying off-exchange is not illegal and does not circumvent the ACA.

 

Thus I am NOT asking for "permission" to do anything illegal.

 

If anyone can offer constructive insight into the timing/sequencing of events to change domicile effective January 1 while at the same time working within the constraints of the Open Enrollment period, I would appreciate it.

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If anyone can offer constructive insight into the timing/sequencing of events to change domicile effective January 1 while at the same time working within the constraints of the Open Enrollment period, I would appreciate it.

 

I don't believe you would be constrained to choosing your 2017 coverage within the Open Enrollment since moving is considered a qualifying event to change coverage. Now, you *may* need to select something within the OE period if it ends before you "move" (if your current plan isn't being offered in 2017 and you need to choose something else), but once you have a new address and a move date, you should be able to change your coverage effective on or about your move date.

 

You'll probably need your new address to submit for the move/qualifying event.

 

Michelle

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Thank you.

 

As you suggest, the most likely scenario seems to be that I will have to enroll for something for 2017 in Texas during the Open Enrollment period, and then change once I have an address established in another state, rather than enroll in another state during open enrollment in anticipation of moving there effective January 1.

 

I suspect that my best course of action will be to contact a broker in the state(s) I might be considering once the policy information is available in late October.

 

Thanks again.

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Excuse me, but what is illegal?

This would be . . .

 

Or can I enroll for 2017 at a FL Escapees address during open enrollment, not tell my Texas insurer that I"m moving, and then in 2017 take my sweet time to get to FL and do the whole driver's license/voting/insurance switch?

It's fraud.

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This would be . . .

 

It's fraud.

 

 

Setting aside labels, a problem with your plan is that it may work only until you end up really needing your insurance. The incentive to the insurance company in following up on something like this is if you incur a lot health expenditures. In contrast, your risk with a non-PPO Texas plan is that expenditures away from your home territory will not be covered unless it is an emergency situation. If you don't already have known expensive health conditions, I might be inclined to risk a one year, or less, period, with such a non-PPO Texas plan, while I establish domicile in the desired state. The risk in that situation is that you could have sudden large health expenses but if they are an emergency, they should be covered, and if they are non emergency you will at least know you can get back to Texas and get things covered. Neither alternative is ideal but if I lose my PPO in Michigan that is one of my alternative plans.

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Before this goes too much further down the rathole of skullduggery and evil intent, let's look at concrete examples.

 

Suppose a fulltimer -- let's call him Joe -- is currently a resident of Texas using an Escapees mail address. During open enrollment (Nov 1- Dec 15) he concludes that he will be better off moving his domicile to Florida in 2017. Thus, Joe secures an address from Escapees that he can use when stablishing his domicile in FL; he will follow up later with DL, vehicle registration and voter registration.

 

Scenario 1: during open enrollment, Joe selects an insurance plan in Florida to be effective January 1, using the Escapees FL address. Before the end of open enrollment he goes to FL and spends a day establishing domicile, so all ducks are in a row for January 1. But does he continue using his TX insurance for the remaining couple of weeks of 2016 (with FL credentials but TX insurance) , or does he find a FL plan for the last couple of weeks of 2016 and do a "life event" change?

 

Scenario 2: during open enrollment, Joe selects an insurance plan in Florida to be effective January 1, using the Escapees FL address. In this case, he will head to FL after the New Year and get his FL credentials by, say, January 15. However, this leaves a couple of weeks in 2017 with TX credentials and FL insurance. Or does he open enroll in TX to cover the first couple of weeks of 2017, and then do a "life event" change to Florida in mid-January.?

 

Scenario 3: Joe picks a FL plan during open enrollment, and then is waiting at the door of the FL licensing agencies when they open on Monday January 2, thus exposing him to only 1 day of a mismatch between credentials and state of insurance.

 

There is no intent of fraud here. Fraudulent behavior is the last thing one should risk when dealing with insurance.

 

The question is how should the timing/sequencing of these events work? And I am pretty sure that Joe will not be the only person having to weigh changing state of domicile in January.

 

mkc (above) is likely spot-on.

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Well said M John. I don't know the answer for Texas and Florida. It is all ridiculously complicated and you need to know the both the domicile requirements and insurance application requirements in your targeted state. I understand that in some states the domicile test for residency may be different than the test applied by the exchanges. Maybe one of these ACA navigators the exchanges offer could provide some advice.

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We just went full time, and are GA residents. I've been speaking with some brokers about 2017 health insurance coverage for under 65 residents using the Escapees Bushnell address. They are telling me there are no PPO plans available for that location through the health care exchange. Perhaps after the November 1 open enrollment starts that may change. But for now, it looks like we won't be able to change our domicile to FL.

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Is there some way for you to get your ducks in a row and establish your Domicile date on Jan 1.

 

 

This seems way too complicated. What if you have a new job in FL that starts Jan 1 and the employer does not offer insurance. This should be a common issue with a well know solution right?

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I agree with ekim. Healthcare is way too complicated. It should all be very simple. Eat and drink correctly, exercise enough but not too much, see you Dr, but not too much and pay your premiums, way too much. Who decided that there should be only a certain time when you can change or obtain health insurance? Who does that protect? Certainly not the patient.

 

I have worked in Healthcare for most of my adult life and have found that the only persons who are really concerned about good, honest and compassionate patient care are the people who actually touch the patients. Guess what, for each single person who touches you as a patient there are HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of people who have their hand in the pot of money that touch, or treatment cost you, even if the touch was all that was needed to help you feel better.

 

I work as a Travel Nurse. Started in 1989 and have continued to travel for the majority of my career. Finally decided to Fulltime in an RV a few years ago. (Should have done it much earlier). When I started there were hundreds of companies that would assist a nurse in finding a job for a short term "Travel Assignment", offering higher pay, health insurance, travel reimbursements, and all sorts of "perks". You had one person who you spoke with and handled all the paperwork and other needs of communication between the Nurse (me) and the Hospital I would be working for. Now I have at least 5 people sending me emails that they need this and that (usually items I have already sent to my usual contact) Guess who is paying for them? Me. My recruiter keeps telling me I cannot have a raise because " the rates we get from the hospital haven't changed" and I say that's not my fault. The only change I have had in my pay over the last 10 years was a $5.00 per hour REDUCTION during the "Economic Crisis". I wonder how many additional staff they added to my payroll with that.

 

Yes I could change professions, start my own business or do something else and make more money, but I'm a NURSE and a good one. You really don't want me to quit. I may be the only person who will provide that touch to you that will make it all better.

 

Good luck with your Domicile changes and Health Insurance needs. Don't worry, you will still be cared for in your time of need. The people who provide the care will never not help you.

 

Rod

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Scenario 1: during open enrollment, Joe selects an insurance plan in Florida to be effective January 1, using the Escapees FL address. Before the end of open enrollment he goes to FL and spends a day establishing domicile, so all ducks are in a row for January 1. But does he continue using his TX insurance for the remaining couple of weeks of 2016 (with FL credentials but TX insurance) , or does he find a FL plan for the last couple of weeks of 2016 and do a "life event" change?

 

Scenario 2: during open enrollment, Joe selects an insurance plan in Florida to be effective January 1, using the Escapees FL address. In this case, he will head to FL after the New Year and get his FL credentials by, say, January 15. However, this leaves a couple of weeks in 2017 with TX credentials and FL insurance. Or does he open enroll in TX to cover the first couple of weeks of 2017, and then do a "life event" change to Florida in mid-January.?

 

Scenario 3: Joe picks a FL plan during open enrollment, and then is waiting at the door of the FL licensing agencies when they open on Monday January 2, thus exposing him to only 1 day of a mismatch between credentials and state of insurance.

 

 

Slightly tangential discussion but the highlighted text in the quote above brings up a point.

 

Something I ran into during a interstate move years ago - wherever you have the vehicle registered, you MUST have insurance in that state or you risk being fined for operating a vehicle without insurance. I had obtained a license and insurance in my new state and cancelled the insurance in the prior state, but waited about a week to register the vehicles in the new state.

 

Several months later, I received notice from my new state that my DL was being suspended due to "unpaid fines" from my previous state. The fines were because of the one week my vehicle was registered in the old state but had insurance in the new state. The old state did not accept the insurance in the new state, considered my cancellation as being no insurance, and flagged my electronic record. This was back in 1993 and my fine was over $200. It would have been cheaper to have an overlap of insurance coverage.

 

So make sure, at least with vehicle registration and insurance, those credentials are both from the same state. You will want to check with the registration state to see if your DL also needs to be from that state.

 

 

 

Now, regarding the 3 different scenarios, it is probably best to call the folks at healthcare.gov and ask them what to do. Joe explains that he is "moving from TX to FL on or about January 1; what is the proper thing to do during Open Enrollment to ensure continuity of health insurance coverage?"

 

Michelle

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You need to officially move your residence/domicile before changing your health insurance policy. Most insurance companies will give you 60 days to convert your insurance to your new address. When we became FL residents, FL BCBS told me I had 60 days to convert my insurance from TX BCBS to FL BCBS. Moving is considered a life event, which makes you eligible to change to a different insurance company any month of the year and not just during open enrollment as mkc pointed our earlier in the thread. For example, we moved in April and set up our FL health insurance policy to become effective 6/1. Once our Fl policy was set up, we notified TX BCBS to cancel our TX policy on 5/31. So in your case you would need to go to FL in Nov and become a resident, then call FL BCBS to set up your policy to become effective 1/1 and then notify TX in writing via your TX member access on their website to cancel your policy on 12/31.

 

Info on setting up a FL domicile: https://winnieviews.blogspot.com/2015/12/how-to-move-to-florida-in-1-hour.html

 

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As I mentioned last year, FL Blue's (FL BCBS) EPO Select and Blue Option plans, at least up to now, work just like a PPO when you're traveling out of state, even though they are not categorized as a true PPO. To date I've not seen any info that this is changing for 2017. Nowadays it's really important to look at a plan's benefits rather than how a plan is categorized.

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