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A little background: my wife recently changed jobs and is now working part time with a new employer. I want to add her to the health plan I have with my employer, but was told I need confirmation that her former insurance coverage has ended. We had not received anything to that effect yet, so my wife called her insurance company. Apparently, they have not received the termination paperwork from her old employer yet, so cannot give us the end-of-coverage confirmation. Its been just over two weeks since she started her new job...

Do we just need to wait, and eventually, we'll get the confirmation when the background process/paperwork has figured itself out? Or should we try to put more pressure on the parties involved (reach out to old managers, etc.)? I'm just afraid we'll be on the hook for the cost of her previous (and apparently ongoing) insurance coverage.

  • What kind of time lines are we talking about here? Days/weeks? When did her coverage with her former employer end, 3/31? – quid Apr 10 '18 at 16:57
  • She left her previous employer around two weeks ago (Late March, before 31st). My understanding is that her current coverage is still active, because her former employer has not notified the insurance provider. – Frostbyte Apr 10 '18 at 17:58
  • It seems that her former employer simply hasn't notified the insurer yet. Typically, an employee is covered through the month in which they're terminated, also typically, there is a time delay of sometimes up to 2 weeks before a carrier is notified of termination and the termination shows as active in the carrier's system. Also, for employer plans, typically proof of termination from the former employer is sufficient proof to be added via qualified even to another employer plan. When was the last time you talked to the insurer? – quid Apr 10 '18 at 18:04
  • We spoke to the insurer today, and still no status changes. We do have proof of termination from her employer, so we'll try using that as life event proof. If a two week delay is not uncommon, sounds like there's nothing to worry about. – Frostbyte Apr 10 '18 at 18:17
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I have seen coverage stop on the last day of work; I have seen coverage end at the end of the last pay period; I have seen it end at the end of the month.

First ask the old employer when coverage ends, or when it ended. Don't ask the insurance company, it depends on the actual policy she is under. This information is usually included in the out-processing documents, but I guess not all companies include this information.

That is a key date because it drives the dates for everything else. That last day of coverage sets the deadline for the the last medical expense they will cover. It also sets the last day to use Flexible spending accounts. It also kicks in the deadlines for signing up COBRA coverage.

Your employer and the insurance company are looking for proof of a qualifying life event that allows changes to insurance coverage outside of open season. It is likely that a copy of the termination documents with a statement from the old employer that coverage ends on date X will suffice.

  • It's also good to note since OP was worried: "we'll be on the hook for the cost of her previous (and apparently ongoing) insurance coverage." Unless you sign up for COBRA, employer insurance plans cannot continue to charge non-employees for the cost of the plan. This is because by design you must be an employee>spouse/dependent to be on the plan in the first place. HR will be able to tell OP the effective end date for their benefits, which is probably tethered to the billing cycle. Unless his spouse has a private plan not through an employer. – CKM Apr 11 '18 at 14:47

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