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Health insurance during time off after residency

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  • Health insurance during time off after residency

    Hello folks! Finishing up my family med residency in 2 weeks, at which time I will no longer have health insurance. Do not have the option to jump on spouse's plan either.

    We just sold our house for a nice cash profit and as such are not starting a job until October-November.

    What do you advise we do for health insurance coverage? When going through the healthcare.gov website, there are lots of questions about income. To which, I do not have and will not have until Oct-Nov. What should I list as my income?

    My wife and I have no kids, have sort of medium level healthcare needs with a few prescriptions and medical visits each year and are both patients at a Direct Primary Care clinic.

    Do I buy insurance now and keep that plan until the new year? Ironically, have never bought insurance for myself before.

  • #2
    Cobra coverage, or travel insurance and get out of the country for a while (what my wife and I did)...

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    • #3
      Cobra covg . Keep dpc

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      • #4
        COBRA. I did locums for a year after residency...I had had zero healthcare needs until I did! The insurance company lost money on me that summer (unfortunately!).

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        • #5
          You have 60 days to apply for COBRA. Unfortunately you’ll be out of that window when you start your new job. BTW, check to see when THAT coverage begins. May not start until after a full month service or something.

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          • #6
            You could go on the exchange and perhaps put down unemployed if you are not working when you start on the insurance. Much simpler would be to pay the Cobra premiums out of pocket to extend your current group coverage until the new coverage kicks in.

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            • #7
              Cobra is the way to go. However, it is the EXACT same coverage. That can be problem for In network if you are moving, which it sounds like. GET all know medical stuff completed before you move. Basically, you will have emergency coverage. None of the physicians will be in network in the new location.

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              • #8
                Also upvote go, travel, enjoy! Might be a last time in a while you have 2 uninterrupted months -- my first such period is a sabatical coming up in 4 years, loong time coming.

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                • #9
                  • There is a 60 day COBRA election period begining with the latter of receipt of the election notice or loss of coverage. The election notice is commonly received ~two (2) weeks after separation.
                  • No obligation to pay the initial premiums exist, but must be done within 45 days of election. Therefore, coverage can be retroactively reinstated up to ~120 days after the beginning of the election period.
                  • I would not suggest cutting it this close. I would elect COBRA coverage at least one week before the election deadline and pay the premiums at least one week before the payment deadline.
                  • It may be a good idea to have the COBRA election/premium payment completed and envelope ready for a trusted individual. Alternatively, complete a health care proxy (AKA durable power of attorney for health care).
                  • You will not have any coverage during this period. Only if you health care cost exceed the Cobra premiums will to need to engage 100% retroactive coverage
                  • This is a good tie-in to another active thread. This will not be a popular opinion. If you can, avoid paying for any services up front. If you must, pay with credit cards.

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                  • #10
                    You get three months of cobra and it can be retroactive. So don't pay anything and if you get hurt, pay cobra and get coverage.

                    Then sign up for your new plan with new job.

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