The Obamacare initiative has attempted to give us all access to healthcare. However, the depth of its reach varies greatly from plan to plan and from insurance company to insurance company. Perhaps, this does not make much sense, considering that culturally, the US society is a civilization of people “on the move”. The U.S Census Bureau estimates that 130,000 Americans move to a different location within the country every day. Since insurance is now obligatory, a few uncertainties arise about how this will play out with travel and moving.
Primarily, one of the more frequently asked questions is whether the plans extend coverage out of the area they were conceived for. For the most part, a large majority of the Obamacare plans are created for a specific geographical region. When applying for coverage in the “Market Place”, the very first question you are asked is what state you live in.
Considering the territorial expansion of the United States, perhaps it makes sense to question these “medical coverage” boundaries. After all, if one considers the cultural habits of the population, which lean a lot more towards the nomadic tendency. The Affordable Care Act attempts to exist as a model of insurance that can satisfy both the entrepreneurial and societal demands.
If you travel a lot, or if you have family members that travel a lot, it is recommended that you purchase a plan from the marketplace in your primary place of residence. That is, the place where you pay taxes and vote. Without a doubt, direct communication with the insurance provider, before purchasing any plan will be the best way to assure the details of the policy will cover your needs. There are many cases where people have purchased a plan in the dark. In other words, they have not taken the time to deeply understand what and where they are covered for. This can lead to many frustrations and misunderstandings. Not to mention,
Hence, in most cases, it will depend on the insurer; so the task of choosing a plan that suits your needs is ultimately your responsibility. Some insurers have massive networks that extend well beyond a “tri-state” area, while others are restricted to a region and are referred to as “multistate plans”. There are those who affirm that traveling shouldn’t present any problem under a marketplace insurance plan. The plan, they uphold will cover you in case of emergencies that happen out of state.
On the other hand, some experts agree that whatever services you end up receiving “out of region” will result in a fight to get a refund back from your insurance carrier. Once again, the advice is definitive: do not sign up for a plan unless you have talked to someone and definitively know where and how much it will cover.
Another popular question about Obamacare is about “unexpected moves” to another state when the period of enrollment is closed. What happens if the previous plan you had does not have any validity in your new home state? The answer for this is universal,to be exact, it does not vary from carrier to carrier. The plans contracted under the Market Place all have what they call “qualifying life events”. Moving to a new state, changes in income and/or family size are all considered qualifying life events. Most insurers will allow you to switch out without having to wait for the open enrollment period.
Another popular question is about international travel. In such cases, it is highly recommended you purchasean international travel medical plan for coverage while roaming outside the United States.
If however, you move abroad, you will be liable for a tax penalty if you fail to secure an insurance plan and if you live less than 330 days in the new country you call home. It is thus advised to not spend more than 5 weeks in the United States when you are visiting.