Joining employer’s plan late

I turned down my employer’s health plan when I was first hired, because I couldn’t afford it.  Now that my car payments are done, I can afford to join.  Can I sign up whenever I want to?

Late Comer

Dear Late Comer,

You will be able to join your employer’s plan, but you will probably have to wait until the next open enrollment.  Finishing up your car payment is not a “family status change” that would allow you to join right away.  A family status change is getting married or divorced, having a child, adopting a child, etc.

Keep in mind that if you drop out again, you won’t be able to re-join at a moment’s notice.  The comings and goings are controlled by the plan, to prevent people from joining when they need care and then dropping out when they don’t.  It’s great that you will have health insurance.  Try your best to keep it up!

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.