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MASSACHUSETTS VS. PENNSYLVANIA HEALTH INSURANCE

January 1, 2010

Q: I currently live in Pittsburgh, PA, but will leave Pittsburgh for good on 8/31, and move to Boston, MA, on 9/1. I need the coverage for 1 month: 9/1 to 10/1. What address (the new MA address where I will live from 9/1, or current PA address where I will be until 8/31) should I put into the "Contact Information" on the online form? What should I put under "Mailing or Billing Address"?

 

A: It would be advantageous to you to use your Pennsylvania address when you apply for coverage. Once a policy is issued, you may change it to any other place in the country and the insurance remains the same. However, you will find that the choices of insurance in Pennsylvania are more varied and that the price of health insurance, especially for a young person, are far more affordable in Pennsylvania than in Massachusetts.

There is no requirement that the address used to issue the policy be your "permanent address" or your "legal address", but rather just a current address that legally dictates that low cost insurance can be offered. An insurance policy is a legal contract that is governed by the laws of the state in which it was issued. You control those provisions when you enter the state of your choice in the address section of the application. Short term medical policies are meant to be portable form state to state and it is common for applicants to apply for this coverage while traveling or by using a school address, vacation address, relative's address, that indicate a current location rather than the permanent address. In any case, the coverage is equally valid anywhere in the U.S.

The reason for the sharp difference in price and availability is that Massachusetts law does not allow most of the low cost health insurance policies listed at www.MedSave.com that exclude coverage for pregnancy and pre-existing medical conditions - two things that are typically not important to a young man who is between health plans for a short time.

The most popular choices in this situation would be "Simple STM" and "Secure STM". Both offer excellent protection, online application, policy and ID card download, low rate for one month coverage and he ability to extend coverage if necessary.

 


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