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How long does it take to get health insurance coverage?

A brief overview...
  • When Your health insurance becomes effective is directly related to how you apply
  • There are an abundance of health insurance options on the market
  • Applying online is the fastest way to get insurance approved
  • Short term health insurance maybe a fast, temporary option

When shopping for health insurance, you probably have a ton of questions. For instance, you’ll want to know how much your premiums are, what’s covered, and what doctors are in your network?

Another important question that people forget to ask, which is critically important is when will your coverage go into effect. When you enroll for health insurance your start date depends on the situation in which you enrolled. If you don’t want to go without coverage for any length of time, you need to know when it will start.

The start date of your health insurance policy depends on when you enrolled. If you don’t want to go without coverage for any length of time, you need to know when it will start.

Enter your zip code above to get free health insurance quotes today!

Applying for Health Insurance During an Open Enrollment Period

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Health insurance open enrollment is an annual event that usually begins at the beginning of November and the end of December. The enrollment period usually ends at the end of January or February. The dates are only ranges because they can change from one year to another.

If you enroll for health insurance during an open enrollment period, and you are choosing an Affordable Care Act-compliant insurance, your benefits start date will depend on the date in which you ordered. If you enroll between the 1st and 15th of a month, your coverage should start on the 1st of the next month. But, if you enroll during the 16th to 31st of a month, your health care benefits will begin on the 1st of the next month.

If you enroll between the 1st and 15th of a month, your coverage should start on the 1st of the next month. But, if you enroll during the 16th to 31st of a month, your health care benefits will begin on the 1st of the next month.

Exception to Health Care Enrollment Outside of Open Enrollment Periods

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While most people qualify for health care benefit enrollment during the open enrollment period, there are a few exceptions to the rule. For instance, the following life events could make you eligible for health care enrollment during any time of the year:

  • Loss of job
  • New employment
  • Marriage
  • Childbirth
  • Adoption

If you qualify for one of these life event exceptions, you will likely be able to start new coverage right away. Another factor that effects how quickly your coverage will kick in is how you apply.

Methods of Applying for Health Insurance

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In today’s digital age, there are many ways to apply for health insurance. You may apply for coverage online, in-person, or via phone. Many times, the method in which you apply will determine how quickly your coverage will kick in.

The quickest way to seek coverage is online. Online applications process quickly and all the paperwork that needs to be filled out and signed can be done in-person.

If you apply in-person with a health insurance representative, you may see a quick turnaround time. But, it will likely not be as quick as online because the forms will still need to be sent to the underwriter and then approved. Adding to the length of time it will take to be approved will also depend on how quickly you can get an appointment with the agent.

Applying for insurance coverage via phone is probably the slowest way to get coverage. When you apply by phone, you will give someone all of your information, but you won’t be able to fill out and sign paperwork. The paperwork will either have to be mailed or emailed to you. In this case, mail times down slow the process. Another factor that influences coverage times depends on how you are accessing insurance.

How You Access Insurance Effects Time it Takes to Achieve Coverage

There are a few different ways to access health insurance. Some people access health care coverage through an employer. Others shop via the Health Insurance Marketplace, and others will opt to shop directly from insurance carriers. The method in which you choose coverage will influence how long it takes for your new insurance to kick in.

Your Ability to Provide Information Accurately in a Timely Manner

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When you apply for health insurance, you will be required to fill out a great deal of paperwork. Not only will you need to provide pertinent identification information for you and anyone you plan to cover, but you will also need to provide detailed medical information for all individuals on your plan.

If you are not able to fill out the paperwork quickly and correctly, you could delay the time it takes for your insurance to kick in. If paperwork is filled out inaccurately, you may be required to submit further information. After submitting information, you will have to wait until the paperwork has been received.

Short-Term Medical Plans

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If you have health insurance, but you quit your job, you may end up with a health insurance gap. A gap can also occur if you quit and immediately got a new job and your employer has a waiting period before new coverage goes into effect. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be eligible for a short term medical plan.

Not everyone qualifies for a short-term medical plan, but if you do, it could allow you to seek healthcare coverage almost immediately after the first payment is processed.

Getting short term medical insurance is relatively speedy, but it’s not a permanent solution.

It’s also important to remember that the Affordable Care Act requires you to have health insurance. However, under these healthcare laws, you can go up to three months without coverage and not face any penalties. However, if you need medical care during this time, you will be solely responsible for the charges.

Cobra Coverage Kicks in Immediately

If you have lost your current job and are going to have a health insurance gap, you may want to consider COBRA insurance. COBRA insurance allows you to purchase the health insurance you received previously at its full cost. It can be rather expensive but may be the best option if you cannot afford to go without health insurance. Another bonus associated with COBRA insurance is that it will begin immediately.

Get Free Health Insurance Quotes Today!

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