Living in one state, health plan from another

I moved from Chicago to New York City last year and informed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. I called and they said I could continue my coverage while living here. This doesn’t seem like it should be possible.  Is it?

New Big Apple

Dear New Big Apple,

Yes, it is possible if your plan is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).  A PPO plan covers all doctors and hospitals, but some may charge you a higher co-pay or a higher deductible.  Since your plan is Blue Cross – Blue Shield, you have the benefit of the national network of physicians.  So, a doctor or hospital that accepts New York’s Blue Cross – Blue Shield will be “in network” for your Illinois plan.

There are other reasons that you might want to buy a plan in your new city.  Your Illinois plan is obeying Illinois state laws, which are different from New York’s (perhaps better in some cases, worse in others.)   For example, New York state laws allow a parent to keep a child on his/her health plan until the child turns 30.  If you have a 27-year-old boomerang child and you want to cover him, you can do that with a New York plan.  On the other hand, if you want to give your boomerang child a kick out of the nest, stick with your Illinois plan.

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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.