May 15, 2024

Why Can’t I Change or Cancel My Healthcare Plan Whenever I Want to?

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    Why Can’t I Change or Cancel My Healthcare Plan Whenever I Want to?

    Navigating Health Insurance Cancellation: A Quick Guide


    Canceling health insurance, particularly within an employer-sponsored group plan, requires careful consideration and adherence to specific rules. Understanding when and how to cancel, as well as the potential consequences, is crucial for employees and employers alike. Here’s a concise overview to help you navigate the process.


    When Can You Cancel Health Insurance?

    • During your employer group’s annual open enrollment period each year, you can cancel or change your coverage.
    • Outside of open enrollment, cancellation is typically only allowed for life status change events. Examples include marriage, divorce, having a baby, leaving the company, or significant plan changes.
    • Special enrollment periods may vary in length but generally allow changes within 60 days of the qualifying event.


    How to Cancel Health Insurance: A Step-by-Step Guide

    If you believe you’ve experienced a life change that requires canceling coverage:

    1. Contact your company’s HR department or designated personnel for guidance.

    2. Ensure your new coverage starts before or on the day your current coverage ends.

    3. Complete all necessary paperwork accurately and within the specified deadlines.


    Understanding Open Enrollment Periods

    • Open enrollment occurs annually, allowing employees to review and adjust their coverage.
    • Choices made during open enrollment generally remain in effect for the entire plan year.


    Special Enrollment Periods: An Exception

    • Life status changes may trigger special enrollment periods, allowing for mid-year changes.
    • These periods typically last 60 days.


    Consequences of Cancellation

    • Gaps in coverage may leave individuals uninsured for medical emergencies or routine care.
    • Dependents may also lose coverage if not covered by alternative plans.
    • Some states impose penalties for being uninsured, and federal penalties may apply for non-compliance with Section 125 rules.



    Navigating health insurance cancellation requires attention to detail and awareness of the potential impacts. By understanding the rules and following the steps outlined, individuals can make informed decisions about their coverage. Remember, staying covered is key to safeguarding your health and finances!


    If you have questions about your healthcare plan or access to care, contact our Advocacy Team by calling 855-662-1029



    Further Reading

    GLP-1 Agents: The Pros and Cons of the Latest Weight Loss Drugs

    Obesity in the US has surged over the past 25 years, rising from 31% in the early 2000s to approximately 42% by 2020. Studies reveal that obese individuals are six times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, although weight is just one contributing factor among many.


    The media bombards us with ads for new medications addressing diabetes and weight loss. Among these, GLP-1 agonists stand out. These drugs enhance blood sugar control and may lead to weight loss. By mimicking a natural hormone, they increase insulin production and slow digestion. Here’s what you need to know:



    • Effectiveness: Clinical trials demonstrate significant weight loss.
    • Metabolic Health: Improved cardiovascular health and glycemic control.
    • Appetite Suppression: Mimicking the appetite-regulating hormone.
    • Blood Sugar Control: Enhanced management.
    • Non-Surgical Option



    • Side Effects: Nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. Are you afraid of needles? Most of these medications are delivered via an injection.
    • Cost: List prices often exceed $1000.
    • Availability Challenges: Drugs are so popular for weight loss that there have been shortages affecting diabetic patients.
    • Long-Term Commitment: These medications aren’t a “one and done” solution; they should be taken long-term for optimal results.
    • Diet and Exercise: Use them in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and an increase in physical activity.

    Be sure to consult your doctor to determine the right regimen for you. Want to read more? Johns HopkinsUC Davis, and Mayo Clinic


    Further information on this topic:

    What "covered" should feel like.

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