January 1, 2010

Q:  I am interested in purchasing short-term health insurance for my 16 month old son. We only need coverage for 30 days starting Sept. 1. We are moving from West Virginia to North Carolina and I am not sure if we need insurance in WV or NC.

A: There is no significant difference. Since all short term medical insurance policies provide coverage equally anywhere in the U.S. with any doctor or hospital of your choice, regardless of residence, there is no "standard" answer to this question. Either address may be used. While there are slight differences in insurance coverage from one state to another, these are not likely to be noticeable in a short term medical insurance policy.

The legal requirement is that the address on any insurance policy be your address at the time of application. This is a matter of contract law since the laws of each state govern the contracts (including insurance contracts) made within its borders. People moving from one location to another like you routinely make arrangements prior to their move using their new prospective address. There is no "checking" on this, the insurance company presumes that you use your actual address when enrolling for coverage online and your choice make no difference to the insurance company.

There may be a small difference in price depending on your zip code in one state vs. another. You can easily compare using the state-by-state listing and automated quoting systems at MedSave.com. Just plug in one address, then the other using the "Fast Quote" feature and go with the one with the lowest price.

Finally, note that some insurance companies do not issue "child only" coverage to children under two years of age but you will not have trouble finding others like Secure STM and Celtic Insurance who do issue this coverage. See the article "Trends in Children's Health Insurance" for more information on this topic.

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