Can Health Insurance Be Cancelled?
Answering the question, “can health insurance be cancelled?” will depend on how much notice is provided to your insurer. In general, insurance providers require at least 30 days notice prior to cancelling coverage.
Allow yourself enough time to appeal their decision and find new coverage if necessary, and even consult an independent third-party reviewer if their explanation of events or decision seems arbitrary and capricious.
1. You Cannot Cancel Your Coverage
Health insurance is a long-term agreement between an insurer and their insured, which provides coverage for an set period, such as one or multiple years, such as daily living expenses, tuition payments or retirement income.
In exchange for premium payments made by an insured, their insurer pays out a portion of costs associated with services covered by their policy, such as deductibles and copays – costs you must cover before your insurance starts covering covered services.
To cancel your coverage, contact either your insurer or health insurance marketplace where you purchased it. They may ask you to complete some forms, and can select an end date.
As an otherwise healthy and young adult, it may be worthwhile to obtain new healthcare coverage before cancelling the one that currently covers you. Either Open Enrollment or Special Enrollment Period offers this opportunity and ensures you do not experience gaps in coverage which might otherwise leave you without care when needed.
2. You Can Cancel Your Coverage for a Reason
As far as insurance goes, you have several choices available to you. Your employer might provide health coverage through their employee health plan or you could purchase individual or family plans on the open market; alternatively, government subsidies might cover some or all of your medical expenses through Medicare or Medicaid programs.
To determine your eligibility for one of these programs, it is usually best to speak to an insurance agent or contact your state agency. Depending on where you live, an application or request for enrollment might need to be filled out. Eventually, your request might even be forwarded onward for review and approval by the relevant body; hopefully your health insurance coverage will soon follow!
Your health insurance provider might offer discounts for your new policy premium, depending on factors like income level and family size; be sure to inquire about reducing monthly bills prior to signing the contract.
3. You Can Cancel Your Coverage for a Reason for a Reason
Likewise, if your health insurance premiums become unaffordable to you, canceling it as soon as possible to preserve coverage and ensure no gaps exist in coverage are left open.
State and federal governments regulate health insurance businesses. In particular, the Affordable Care Act typically prevents major medical insurers from cancelling policies prematurely.
Insurers must also notify you at least 30 days in advance if they intend to end your coverage, giving you enough time to contest or secure alternative coverage options.
Dependent upon the circumstances surrounding your cancellation, you may be eligible for a partial or complete refund of premiums paid. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t always guaranteed.
4. You Can Cancel Your Coverage for a Reason for a Reason
If you need to cancel an insurance plan for good reasons, try cancelling it before the end of the year. The exact steps may differ depending on which policy is being cancelled but in general they include filling out a form, mailing, faxing or emailing it and signing off on it.
Health insurance providers can often be quite generous when it comes to offering refunds on premium payments already made, particularly group plans where you may qualify for a pro rata refund of premium costs in certain instances.
Note also that the Affordable Care Act has implemented many safeguards to protect consumers against frivolous cancellations and medical-related gimmicks – like Omo. Of course, to best avoid such scenarios it’s advisable to stay aware of your health insurance and do your research prior to dropping or switching policies.