If you’ve recently moved or are planning on moving to North Carolina from out-of-state, you’ve probably already updated your mailing address, notified your bank, and made a to-do list of things to check off once you’re in your new home. On top of all of that, many people don’t realize that their health insurance won’t carry over when they move to a new state. So, if you’re new to the Old North State, you’ll need to:
- Research North Carolina health insurance
- Plan your budget ahead of time
- Plan for the ACA open enrollment period or find out if you qualify for special enrollment
NC Health Insurance
Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is the state’s primary provider of health insurance, as it’s the only insurance company in NC that is approved by the federal government under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. BCBS of NC offers a variety of plans to cover each individual’s unique lifestyle and coverage needs.
If you have Original Medicare Parts A and B, you’re covered regardless of your move across state lines. However, Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug coverage plans often have preferred provider networks (PPOs) that can affect your out-of-state coverage. If you haven’t already, notify your Medicare plan ASAP that you’re relocating outside of your current plan’s service area.
What will work for you?
Depending on where you’re moving from, you might have a rate increase once you relocate. Medical insurance certainly isn’t a “one size fits all” product, so you’ll want to start looking for insurance plans that cover your needs and fit your budget. Whether you’re looking for something comparable the coverage you had before moving, or it’s time for an upgrade, a licensed NC insurance agent can connect you with a health plan and insurance options that work for you.
When can you enroll?
Open enrollment for North Carolina health insurance is:
- October 1 – December 7 for Medicare recipients (eligible applicants 65 and up)
- November 1 – December 15 for individual ACA-compliant plans (like BCBS)
When you move across state lines, you can qualify for a special enrollment period outside of the dates listed above if you notify your insurance provider before you move. If you give advance notice, your special enrollment will be four months long, starting one month before the month you move and ending three months after that. If you notify your provider after you move, you can switch plans starting the month you provided notice and have 60 days to find a new plan after you give notice.
Visit the Health Insurance Marketplace to see if you qualify for a special enrollment period.
If you miss your special enrollment period, you may want to consider short-term health insurance until regular open enrollment rolls back around to protect you from gaps in your health care coverage.