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How do I cancel my health insurance?

By on October 5th, 2011
Filed: Advice, Health Insurance, Tips, You

Applying for health Insurance can be complicated. And, sometimes, canceling health insurance can be even more complicated.  If you’re a first-time buyer of health insurance you should know that:

  1. Every insurance company has their own cancellation policy
  2. The insurance company is required to provide you with information about how to cancel your policy
  3. If you ever have any questions, you can call eHealthInsurance because we’re YOUR agent and we’re here to help you.

Last week and again this week, one of our customers who struggled to cancel his policy got so frustrated by the cancellation process with his insurance carrier, that he complained about it on our Facebook page.

I wish we could say he’s alone, but he’s not. We do get calls from customers who are frustrated about this process from time to time.

As your agent, we can contact the insurance company on your behalf and see if there is some wiggle room. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t.

A better strategy is to avoid the problem altogether. And, the best way to do that is to stay informed. Just like when you’re entering into a contract for a cell phone plan or any other service, you’re always going to want to know what type of commitment you’re getting yourself into. Here is a list of questions you should ask and specific rules you should investigate when enrolling in a policy:

  • Cancellation terms: Make sure you fully understand what is entailed to successfully cancel your health insurance policy.
  • Specific covered benefits: If you’re interested in services like chiropractic, maternity, or orthopedic care makes sure you know if your policy covers it and how much of it will be covered before hand.
  • Waiting periods, exclusions or riders:  These types of things can be extremely frustrating if you are not familiar with them.  Don’t assume you will be informed ahead of time of any restrictions in your policy.  If you need to use your plan immediately, make sure it will be covered immediately.
  • When you will be charged for the policy: Customers sometimes don’t realize when they apply for health insurance they get charged even if a decision is not made yet.
  • What form of payment is accepted: credit card, ACH (automatic withdrawal from your bank account) or other form of payment
  • Processing times for a decision. Customers think they will get insurance right away and many times are surprised to find out it can take several days to get a decision.

And again, if you have questions ask for help.  Doing your homework ahead of time could save you time, money, and frustration.

Image via Flickr user Ed Yourdon.

 

About Carrie McLean


Carrie McLean has been in the health insurance field for 7 years and is licensed in all 50 states. She is often seen in the media discussing health insurance trends and issues from an insider’s perspective and as a consumer advocate, having personally helped thousands of individuals and families search for and find affordable health insurance.

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