When Can I Enroll In My Company’s Group Health Insurance Policy?
Paul March 19, 2010
As an employee of a company that has a group health insurance plan, you are only allowed to enroll during specified times. You are initially allowed to enroll when you are first hired. If your company has a waiting period for new hires, then you may have to wait 30 days or more to enroll in your New Jersey group health insurance plan.
Each year a special period called “open enrollment” occurs on the anniversary of the date that you policy has started. During this period any employee of the company that have previously waived coverage are allowed to enroll in the plan. In addition, if you do participate in the policy, you’ll be able to update or change your coverage during the open enrollment period.
I am frequently asked if you go on vacation, are you are allowed to cancel your coverage and restart it in a few months after you return? Insurance carriers do not allow employees to do this. You are only allowed to leave a plan and come back on in open enrollment, otherwise you are allowed to come back on the plan if a qualifying event occurs. An example of this is, if you waived coverage for existing coverage during open enrollment. Then you lost your coverage, you would be allowed to enroll in the health plan from the date your coverage terminated.
Please be aware that pre-existing conditions of 12-18 months may apply if you have a break of coverage of over 63 days. While employee benefits programs change based on the employer, these types of changes to your health insurance policy are fairly standard.