What Happens to an Employee’s Insurance If They Move?
After almost a year since COVID-19 shut offices down across the country, many workforces are still working from home. With that, many employees took the opportunity to move to be closer to relatives or relocate to more affordable cities. If an employee moves to a different state but works for the same employer, how are their benefits impacted?
COVID-19's Impact on Employee Relocation
According to Pew Research Center, about 22% of U.S. adults said they moved residences due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or they knew someone who did. In addition, many offices are contemplating whether or not they should have their employees return to in-person operations at all.
As some workforces realized they can operate remotely all of the time, many employers have allowed their employees to work from wherever they’d like. For some employees, this meant moving out of their cramped apartment in major cities for somewhere with a little more space. For others, it meant moving to be closer to family members who were either sick themselves, or able to provide much-needed child care.
What Happens to Coverage When Employees Move Out of State?
If employers plan to continue remote operations even after the pandemic and allow employees to work from other states, what happens to their employer-sponsored benefits? In short, it depends on the insurance carrier. If an employee’s insurance is through a major healthcare provider, not much should change since most carriers have a national network.
If the employee has coverage from state-specific insurance providers that are their own entity, they may need to work with their insurance provider to make sure they can find in-network care in their new state. For example, if an employee has employer-sponsored health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, they can still receive care in another state as long as the doctor or hospital they visit is in-network with that insurance provider. For most people, it’s not an issue.
For employees who move, the best way to proceed is to check their new neighborhood for doctors and hospitals, and contact the insurance provider to see if they’re in-network with their current plan.
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