Can You Cancel Your Health Insurance Policy?

Can You Cancel Your Health Insurance Policy? text overlaying image of a person ripping a contract in halfSo, you’ve decided it’s time to cut ties with your health insurance plan, but can you cancel your policy? The answer is both yes and no. You can cancel your health insurance, but if you do it at the wrong time or without a backup plan ready to go you could face fines or massive coverage gaps.

When To Cancel Your Health Plan

It’s best to cancel your health insurance policy once you have a replacement ready to take its place. If you don’t, you will have coverage gaps, leaving you vulnerable in the event of a health emergency. If you are looking to make the switch,Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is the best time to look into a different health insurance plan. The only time you can switch to a new health insurance plan outside of the OEP is if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). You qualify for an SEP if:


  • You just got married
  • Filed for divorce
  • Just had a baby
  • You or your spouse got a new job, losing your group health insurance coverage
  • You’re moving outside of your coverage area
  • Your current plan is no longer offering coverage in your area
  • Your current health insurance company is out of business

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The Right Way To Cancel Your Private Health Plan

It’s important to cancel your health insurance plan properly so that there is no confusion or loose ends. Below are the steps you can take to cancel your plan the right way.

Call your health insurance company

If you have health insurance through the Marketplace, you can login to your account and terminate the plan’s coverage. If you need help canceling your plan online, you call their customer service line. When you’re canceling a private health insurance plan, you can contact your insurance company directly. Your health insurance company’s phone number is printed right on your policy, health insurance card, and premium bills. Your health insurance provider may let you cancel over the phone. Occasionally, they may request that you fax or mail them additional documentation such as a confirmation letter.

Follow Your Plan’s Cancellation Process

Every health insurance provider has a cancellation procedure you must adhere to, such as ensuring your policy end dates are accurate to avoid a lapse in coverage. During your online or phone cancellation, an insurance agent will confirm the steps you have to take to successfully cancel your health insurance plan. Note the name of the representative and any cancellation confirmation numbers. This is important in the event that there are any procedure errors during the cancellation you’ll be able to quickly prove when the policy was ended.

Ask About Premium Refunds and Check Your Bank 

If you paid your plan in full for the year and want to cancel it before it expires, ask your health insurance company if it will reimburse you for the months you’ve already paid for but have not used yet. Many insurers will issue a refund for the remaining time on your policy. Check your bank statements after your new health insurance coverage begins to ensure that the canceled plan is no longer in effect and charging your account. You’ll also want to make sure that the new policy is active and has taken the first payment if you have one.

Check Your Active Health Coverage

Don’t cancel your old policy until you’ve gotten a new one and reviewed the coverage start date. Make sure the active coverage periods don’t overlap, as it’s illegal to submit claims to two separate major medical policies. You’ll also want to check your monthly health allowance if your employer reimburses you for your insurance premium or other out-of-pocket medical expenses through a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or health insurance stipend. This amount may affect your desired premium payment and the types of medical expenses you may get. Additionally, check the type of HRA your company offers. Integrated HRAs supplement employer-sponsored health insurance plans by helping to pay for deductibles, copayments, medical services, and other out-of-pocket costs, but cannot reimburse health insurance premiums.

Know Your Rights

Every state has consumer protection laws and insurance regulators who can help you with questions or complaints regarding your individual coverage. Your state laws may address health coverage requirements, prompt payment of claims, access to specific specialists, and certain treatment coverage. These protection laws apply to all plans, whether individual coverage or employer-provided health insurance, in order to safeguard your access to health services. If you submit false information on your health insurance application, your policy could be canceled. However, they cannot terminate your coverage if you made an honest error on your application. If you have unpaid premiums, your provider can terminate your coverage. In the majority of instances, your health insurance provider must give you at least 30 days notice before canceling your coverage due to missed monthly payments. This notice affords you the opportunity to appeal the decision or find a more cost-effective alternative.

How To Cancel Your Group Health Plan

You may need to cancel your employer-sponsored health insurance plan, even if you remain employed with the company. For example, your spouse or domestic partner’s employer may offer a more affordable plan option. Canceling an employer-sponsored plan is fairly easy if you follow these steps:


  • Contact HR – Your company’s human resources department will be able to answer your questions and will be your primary contact through the entire cancellation process
  • Ask about dates – Make sure you know the cancellation date, and make sure your new coverage will begin on or right after that date. You don’t want your plans to overlap. 
  • Complete the paperwork – If you’re opting out of your group plan early, there will likely be a bunch of paperwork that comes with it. Make sure you complete, sign, and submit these forms on time 

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Cancellation Penalties

In most instances, there is no fee for canceling a health insurance policy. However, some insurance providers do charge a cancellation fee. This would be specified in your plan’s terms and conditions, so you are aware of this policy before you buy it. While the federal government no longer imposes a tax penalty for not having health insurance, some states do. The District of Columbia, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have penalties for not having health insurance. Each state has its own system of fees. Check your state’s regulations before you cancel your health insurance, as you may qualify for an exemption from the tax penalties.

When Can’t I Cancel My Health Plan?

There are very few circumstances where you’re not able to cancel a health plan early. Some employer group health plans are paid for out of your paycheck prior to taxes being taken out. These plans are called Section 125 plans. They can be an excellent way to save money on insurance and taxes. If you have one of these plans, however, you can only change or cancel it during the Open Enrollment Period, or if you have a qualifying life event. Your HR department will be able to let you know if that’s the case with your group plan.


Additionally, if you are under 30 and have a short-term or catastrophic insurance plan, you may not be able to cancel your coverage early. Many of these plans are bought for a specific period of time and can’t be canceled early. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of these plans before enrolling.

Why You Need Health Insurance

So far we’ve talked about how to switch health insurance plans, but we haven’t mentioned people canceling health insurance with no plans to get another plan. We know that sometimes when money is tight you start cutting expenses and health insurance is one of the first things to go. Especially if you’re healthy you think “well, I don’t use it, I don’t need to pay for it”, but that way of thinking can be detrimental.  While being healthy is great, the objective here is to maintain that health throughout one’s life. Unfortunately, neither disease nor accidents can be predicted. Without health insurance, you are responsible for all of your medical expenses. Which poses a substantial threat to your financial and medical stability.

Health Benefits Of Health Insurance

The greatest benefit of health insurance is access to necessary medical care. Health insurance provides access to a comprehensive network of physicians, specialists, hospitals, and laboratories. This network collaborates with you and each other to help you prioritize wellness and prevention. In fact, the majority of healthcare plans include free preventative services, such as immunizations and screenings, to help you stay healthy and avoid illness and its consequences.


Additionally, the Affordable Care Act requires Marketplace plans to cover pre-existing conditions. This means that even if you already have a chronic illness, you will not be denied coverage or charged more for your pre-existing condition. Since you’ll have regular access to the necessary doctors and specialists, your healthcare plan will also assist you in managing the care for any chronic illnesses you may be living with. 


Your health insurance provides you with the most effective means of maintaining your health. Having access to this type of continuous care can ultimately result in a longer and healthier life. In fact the mortality rate of adults between 17-64 without health insurance is 40% higher than those without insurance, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Financial Benefits of Health Insurance

Health insurance protects not only your health but also your finances. With an insurance plan, you will have less out-of-pocket healthcare costs, as your insurance will cover your medical services for a monthly premium. You will also be healthier, which will lower your out-of-pocket costs. Consider how much you would pay out of pocket for an unexpected medical emergency Which could easily cost you thousands of dollars. 

Working With An EZ Agent

It can be frustrating to organize your own health insurance because there are so many variables to take into account. Why not let a professional do all the hard work for you, for free? A licensed EZ insurance agent can describe the advantages and disadvantages of each plan, and help you choose the best plan for your needs. EZ agents can save you hundreds annually on health insurance premiums. This is accomplished by our ability to search both on and off market for the most cost-effective plans. We can also locate and apply any discounts you may be eligible for. And we don’t stop at finding you a plan; we also assist with plan maintenance after the fact! We can assist you in filing claims with your insurance company and renewing your policy when the time comes. To begin, enter your zip code in the box below or call one of our licensed agents at 877-670-3575.

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Can You Get Health Insurance After An Accident?

Ah – life is just full of surprises isn’t it? It would be so much easier if we had a crystal ball telling us exactly what kind of health insurance we should get and when. Who wouldn’t want to not pay for insurance until it was needed?

There may be years, even decades, where you don’t need to go to the doctor or have an injury, and you think you don’t need insurance. Sadly, life happens and unexpected things and accidents occur. Let’s just say you’re going about your day and you get some pain and have to rush to the hospital. Once there you find out you have appendicitis and need an appendectomy. A few weeks later a bill arrives in your mailbox for thousands of dollars. If you don’t have a health insurance plan this trip to the hospital could wreak havoc on your bank account and credit. Hopefully you never find yourself in this scenario but it makes you wonder…what if you don’t have health insurance? What do you do? Can you retroactively be covered if you buy a plan after you leave the hospital? Let’s find out.

crystal ball
Since you can’t predict the future, be sure you have a health insurance plan that fits your needs.

The Short Answer

emergency room
Getting health insurance after an injury will not cover bills that have already been incurred.

Sadly if you do not have insurance at the time of an accident you cannot sign up for health insurance coverage after being injured and incur a bill from a healthcare provider. It makes sense that this is not possible because otherwise no one would buy a health insurance policy unless it was absolutely necessary. There is an open enrollment period in the fall where people can enroll in a health insurance plan for the next calendar year. There are exceptions to this if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Some life events such as getting married or having a baby would qualify you to enroll outside of the open enrollment period, but in general you should get a plan during open enrollment to cover yourself in the event of an accident or to get coverage for wellness checks.

Finding a Plan That’s Right For you

Talk to an EZ Agent today to find a health insurance plan that works for you.

Opting out of health insurance is extremely risky. With one accident you could put yourself in financial distress for years to come. This is why health insurance, even a basic plan with a high deductible would be better than nothing. At EZ we have agents that work with top-rated insurance companies in the nation and are able to find a plan that works for you. Don’t find yourself in a position that would create financial hardship because of an accident. Simply enter your zip code in the bar above to get free, instant, no obligation quotes, or to speak to a local agent, call 888-350-1890.

Preparing For Health Insurance Open Enrollment: Added Healthcare

Health insurance plans change from year to year. Sometimes prices will change, and coverage will change: some things will no longer be covered, and some benefits will be added to your plan. As you look into plans for next year, you might find some newly added healthcare benefits are now included, like telemedicine, which is now included due to the coronavirus pandemic. Telemedicine is just one of the newly added healthcare benefits to look out for in next year’s plans. The Open Enrollment Period is ending in less than 2 weeks, so now is the time to compare plans if you haven’t already.

Benefits To Look For:


doctor on a screen with caucsian hands holding it up

It always seems to happen during the weekend or when your doctor’s office is closed: you or your child gets sick. You then need to consider going to urgent care or the emergency room. The illness might not warrant an expensive trip to the emergency room, and you might want to avoid going to urgent care because of COVID-19. Luckily, with many new plans, you will not have to go to urgent care when an unexpected illness happens. Starting next year, many plans will give you the option to use telehealth to “see” a doctor 24/7 over the phone or on your tablet or laptop, so that you can get the care you need as soon as possible. Check with different health insurance companies to see if they are offering this benefit. 

Fitness Benefits

Want to get fit but don’t have the money to invest in a gym membership? Some 0health insurance companies will be offering fitness benefits as part of their plans. These benefits include incentives to get healthier, like paying a certain percentage of your gym membership’s monthly fees. Take control of your wellness, and feel happier and healthier, by taking advantage of this added healthcare benefit!

Chronic Condition Management

diabetes machine with the number 53 on it and tester sticks in the background

Unfortunately, many Americans are dealing with some kind of chronic condition, such as respiratory disease, diabetes, or heart disease. The ongoing treatment for these conditions can become very expensive, because they require constant monitoring and medication. All health plans currently sold on the Marketplace cover chronic care management, but some are limited in what they cover. In general, most plans have some type of coverage for doctor visits, lab tests, prescriptions, preventive care, behavioral health services, rehabilitation services (including physical therapy) and hospital care related to your chronic condition. 

Luckily, as of January 1st, some health insurance companies will be expanding benefits for ongoing management of chronic conditions. With some plans, you will be given your own care manager who will work with you to coordinate care and help you manage your condition. 

Travel Coverage

Although it doesn’t seem like we will be doing much traveling anytime soon due to the pandemic, the time will come when we will start going on vacations and business trips again, and you might find that you need medical coverage for your trips. Your current plan probably requires you to purchase additional medical coverage before you travel, which most likely costs an arm and a leg. But many health insurance plans will begin to offer travel coverage to members at no extra cost next year. This type of coverage will include:

  • Medical emergency services: You will receive coverage for medical care such as medical referrals, emergency medical evacuation, prescriptions and more.
  • Travel emergency services: This will help with things such as lost luggage/documents, and will offer legal and interpreter referrals, as well as care of minor children and pets when experiencing a travel emergency.

Price Estimation Toolkeyboard with a purple button that says estimate on it

Starting next year, some companies will offer a price estimation tool that will help you budget better for the year. This tool will provide estimates of the price of medical procedures, surgeries, and prescription drugs. It will show you how much in-network healthcare providers charge for services and medications based on your specific plan. 

If you are interested in receiving all of these benefits, some of them, or even just one of them, then it is best to compare plans. It can be time consuming and confusing to figure out which plan will offer these benefits, and will also meet your financial needs. EZ.Insure offers free guidance in figuring it all out. We make the process easier by comparing all available plans in your area in minutes. We will compare plans and find one that includes the added benefits you might want/need, but is still in your budget. To get free instant quotes in minutes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to an agent, call 888-350-1890.

Preparing For Health Insurance Open Enrollment: Employer Checklist for Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for health insurance has begun. This period gives employers and employees the opportunity to change their benefit options, and many companies use this time to review their employees’ health insurance plans to see if they can find ways to save money or improve coverage. The opportunity for business owners to save money during Open Enrollment is especially important this year because the coronavirus has hit many companies hard financially. Now is the time to speak to an EZ agent to see if you should renew your current plan or switch to a more affordable plan that offers just as many benefits

As you review your options, you also have to be aware of any legal changes affecting the design and administration of your current plan or any other plan you choose. Go through the following checklist, share it with your employees, and use it to help you choose your plan for the coming year.

change written on many freen arrow signs pointing in different directions.
Healthcare plans change every year, including the price and coverage, so you need to be aware to be better prepared.

Plan Design Changes

Healthcare plans and the rules surrounding them change every year. The cost of your plan may go up, so you need to be aware of changes to your costs. But you also need to be aware of changes to certain limits in your plan. Some changes to know for 2021 include:

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) affordability standard– The affordability percentage for 2021 is 9.83%. Employer-sponsored coverage for next year’s plan will be considered affordable under the employer shared responsibility rule if the employee’s required contribution for self-only coverage does not exceed 9.83% of the employee’s household income for the tax year.
  • Out-of-pocket maximum– The annual out-of-pocket maximum limit for 2021 is $8,550 for self-only coverage and $17,100 for family coverage.
  • FSA contribution limit: This has not been announced yet, so watch for IRS guidance on the FSA contribution limit for the 2021 plan year.
  • High deductible health plan (HDHP) and health savings account (HSA) rules for 2021:
    • HSA contribution limits: $3,600 for individuals and $7,200 for families
    • HDHP minimum deductible: $1,400 for individuals and $2,800 for families
    • HDHP out-of-pocket-maximum: $7,000 for individuals and $14,000 for families

Make sure to confirm that your plan’s out-of-pocket maximum complies with the ACA’s limits for next year. If you offer a HDHP, make sure that the plan’s deductible and out-of-pocket maximum are also in compliance with next year’s rules. Remember  to communicate these changes to your employees. 

Notices To Pass On To Employees

You should provide certain benefits notices to your employees during the Open Enrollment Period. Benefit notices that you should review and provide to your employees include:caucasian woman standing and handing a caucasian man a piece of paper in an office room setting with other people sitting at the desk

  • Summary of Benefits and Coverage– The ACA requires healthcare plans and health insurance issuers to provide a summary of benefits and coverage to enrollees. This has to be given to your employees who enroll or re-enroll during Open Enrollment.
  • Summary Plan Description (SPD)– Plan administrators have to provide a SPD to new participants within 90 days after plan coverage begins. In addition, any changes that are made to the plan should be communicated to employees in an updated SPD booklet.
  • COBRA General Notice– Group health plan administrators have to provide an initial COBRA notice to new participants and certain dependents within 90 days after plan coverage begins. It can be included in the SPD.
  • Grandfathered Plan Notice– If you have a grandfathered plan, then make sure that you provide any information about the plan’s status and any changes to the plan. 
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Notice– Group health plans that cover residents in a state that provides assistance subsidies under a Medicaid plan or CHIP have to send an annual notice about the available assistance to all employees residing in that state.
  • Notice of Patient Protections– This notice needs to be provided if you are offering non-grandfathered group health plans that require designation of a participating primary care provider. If a non-grandfathered plan requires participants to designate a participating primary care provider, the plan or issuer must provide a notice.
  • Individual coverage HRA (ICHRA)– This applies to employers who sponsor ICHRAs for specific classes of employees, or all employees. You must provide the written notice to each participant at least 90 days before the beginning of each plan year.
  • HIPAA Privacy Notice– Employers with self-insured health plans are required to maintain and provide their own Privacy Notices. Special rules apply for fully insured plans. Under these rules, the health insurance issuer, and not the health plan itself, is primarily responsible for the Privacy Notice.
  • Wellness Program Notices- There are 2 notices that you will need to provide employees if you offer a workplace wellness program:
    • HIPAA Wellness Program Notice– HIPAA imposes a notice requirement on health-contingent wellness programs that are offered under group health plans. Health-contingent wellness plans require individuals to satisfy standards related to health factors (for example, not smoking) in order to obtain rewards.
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Wellness Program Notice– Employers with 15 or more employees are subject to the ADA. Wellness programs that include health-related questions or medical exams must comply with the ADA’s requirements, including an employee notice requirement.
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Comparing plans with an EZ agent can help you save hundreds of dollars a year!

Finding An Affordable Plan

Whether you are considering renewing your current group plan, or finding a new plan or insurance company to work with, you will have to do some researching and comparing. There are hundreds of group insurance plans to compare in order to find the one that best suits you and your employees. By combing through these plans, you will be able to save hundreds, and maybe even thousands of dollars a year! The first step in figuring out what kind of plan to look for is to conduct an employee health survey.

Next, you should speak to an EZ agent. It can be time consuming to sit down and compare plans, and with Open Enrollment coming to an end soon, the whole process can become overwhelming. Running a business means that you have a lot on your plate, so let EZ.Insure do all the work for you. You can speak to one of our agents free of charge. They will ask you questions regarding your budget and employees, and will then begin comparing quotes. EZ will present you with the best option that will offer the most benefits and savings. To get instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak directly to a licensed agent, call 888-998-2027.

Preparing For Health Insurance Open Enrollment: 2021 ACA Premium Rates

Open Enrollment begins on November 1, and the 2021 premium rates for ACA plans have now been announced. Rates will be increasing slightly, because insurance companies have had to shoulder the costs of the free coronavirus testing and treatments mandated by Congress. This no-cost testing and treatment has left insurers with a $103 billion dollar bill. The rate increase may not be very large for some, though, because of the medical loss ratio rebate that will be incorporated into their premiums next year. If you’re looking for a new plan, or want to change plans, we’ve broken down what your costs could look like, and how you can still find affordable health insurance that fits your budget and coverage needs.

The ACA Premium Increase

black chalkboard with two white lines forming a line graph, with a red line going upwards in the graph.
ACA premium rates are increasing slightly for some, while others might see a 20-50% increase.

The average cost of ACA premiums is increasing by only a few percentage points, with very few states experiencing a decrease. The increase will vary depending on the state, and will also be affected by whether each individual insurer has met the legal standard of spending 80% of revenue on direct medical care. If they have not met the standard over the last three years, then they must issue medical loss ratio rebates back to the policyholders. Many are doing this by putting the rebates towards premiums for next year to help keep them from spiking too much.

Despite projections of slight increases, some policyholders have been posting letters from their insurance carriers on Twitter that say their premiums will increase anywhere from 20 to 48%! In addition, according to one study, commercial insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, and Oscar Health could increase premiums anywhere from 4% to 40%.

So far, the highest increase for individual health plans has been proposed by Oscar Health in New York at 19.1%. For small group plans (employer-sponsored plans), Oscar Health also has the highest proposed increase of 29.1%, followed by Emblem at 20.9%.

More Affordable Options

persons legs with white sneakers on in the middle of many different colored arrows around the feet pointing in different directions.

Now that Open Enrollment is approaching, you should reassess your current insurance plan, if you have one (and if you don’t, now is the time to start looking!)  It’s possible that different insurers have expanded into your state or county, and you might have more options available to you than you did before. Take advantage of this time and consider all of your options!

Because premiums vary by state or region, it is important to get some help determining what the increases to your premiums could look like. You should also get help finding the best plans available in your area. The best way to do this is by speaking with an EZ agent. Our agents are trained in your region and work with the top-rated companies in the country, so they have quick and easy access to all plans in your area. They will go over your medical and financial needs, and then compare all plans, including their coverage, premiums, deductibles, and other costs of each plan. We will help find an affordable plan, and maybe even lower your health insurance cost!

To compare plans in your area for free, enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to one of our highly trained, licensed agents, call 888-350-1890.

Is There Open Enrollment for Group Health Insurance?

Open enrollment is defined as a period of time when an employee join your group health plan or make changes to their existing policy. If you have a Group Health policy, which you should if your business employs over 50 workers, then any changes outside of a SEP  will need to be made during this open enrollment period. Your employees need to be notified so that they do not miss this opportunity.  

squares and finger pointing at them
Open enrollment is the standard period for insurance changes. Do you know the exact dates?

The unfortunate downside is that if the deadline is missed, then they must wait until next year. However, certain qualifying life events exempt an individual from this rule. You can learn more about that here. <link to SEP article>

For Employees

Open enrollment for the 2019 period will start Friday, November 1, and it will run until Sunday, December 15, 2019.

With your employment-based policy, your staff should receive reminders in the mail, but make sure to either talk to them one-on-one or send them an email yourself. 

Health coverage is important, and taking the time to reach out will send a positive message to your employees.  They will appreciate your knowledge, guidance, and interest in their well-being. 

For Business Owners

You do not have an “open enrollment” period to make changes to your company’s group health policy. You can make changes whenever you’d like. 

business owners in their company
Knowledge is power! Keep in mind important dates when it comes to making policy changes.

If you want to change your business’ policy, you can (usually) cancel your coverage at any time, but the insurance company prefers to be notified at least 30 days in advance. It would be courteous to let your employees know as well. 

For these changes, it’s good to review the pros and cons of joining an HRA or switching to a different policy. Both are valid options, but the choice ultimately falls on what would be best for your company’s future.

Don’t worry about big insurance decisions; EZ.Insure offers solutions. Your agent will answer any questions you have, compare the plans available to you, and even sign you up when you are ready, free of charge. To get started simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or you can speak to an agent by emailing, or calling 888-998-2027. EZ.Insure makes the entire process simple, easy, and quick.