When does Health Insurance Start at a New Job | Expert Guide

When does health insurance start at a new job? Some health insurance policies need between 30 to 90 days to enjoy the coverage benefits. This allows the employer to hire you on a probationary basis or impose a trial period before the insurance becomes effective. Employers determine when new employees start receiving health insurance benefits. Some positions may begin to benefit immediately. Others may go one or two months without health coverage.

Therefore, eligible employees must enroll in health insurance within the first three months of eligibility for coverage. All working days are counted, including holidays and weekends. Your health insurance plan may begin coverage before 90 days, but not after.

Since the waiting period will be 90 days or less, you will need to check with your company’s benefits administrator about the start date.

That said, most companies automatically enroll new employees in health insurance when they start work, providing they meet the company’s requirements.

When Does Coverage Start?

When does Health Insurance Start at a New Job

If you have recently lost your job, you will almost certainly have to pay for COBRA each month until your new coverage begins.

Under the Omnibus Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the federal government requires employers to offer this continuation of health insurance. Continuing your old coverage could be expensive-up to 102% of the total cost to your old company. You will not want to continue COBRA coverage indefinitely.

What Preexisting Conditions Apply?

When does Health Insurance Start at a New Job

Pregnancy, genetic information, or certain diseases in infants or adopted children cannot be excluded as preexisting conditions under HIPAA. Preexisting conditions do not affect insurance coverage for other needs, so you can obtain coverage for other conditions while maintaining coverage for the preexisting condition. In most cases, exclusions are limited to 12 months. If you join late, you may be required to wait up to 18 months for prior condition coverage.

How Much Will It Cost?

How Much Will It Cost

Small business owners cannot always control the cost of health insurance, as rates are determined by the insurer based on claims and risk. Larger companies enjoy greater bargaining power with insurers and often want more affordable insurance. If you use any tobacco, find out about smoking insurance coverage.

What are Employers Required to Offer?

What are Employers Required to Offer?

Businesses with more than 50 full-time employees are required by the Affordable Care Act to provide health insurance coverage or suffer a tax penalty.

Tax credits are available to small businesses that offer health insurance.

Employers often offer their employees the most cost-effective insurance plans for the company. While some companies provide coverage on the first day of employment, others require individuals to work up to 90 days before receiving coverage.

Types of Plans

Types of Plans

Each plan has different advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and expected health care expenses.

Selecting a physician from the insurer’s preferred provider network entitles you to discounts and benefits. If you choose a provider not part of the network, they will reduce your benefits.

Your doctors work for the same company that provides your insurance. You have fewer doctor options, and they used to receive all care, except emergencies, through the HMO to maintain insurance coverage.

In general, an HDHP, or a high deductible health plan, is comparable to a PPO. However, many programs require you to meet a high deductible before the plan begins to cover a percentage of expenses. Typically, a high-deductible plan offers low monthly premium but high out-of-pocket payments. Individuals must have a minimum deductible of $1,300, and families must have a minimum deductible of $2,600 in 2016.


Monthly premiums vary significantly depending on the plan you choose and the amount your company pays. Because insurance companies treat employees of the same company as a group, you may pay lower premiums.

Most companies take care of this by automatically deducting pre-tax premium payments from each paycheck.


In these plans, you are responsible for 100% of healthcare costs up to the deductible amount. 

For example, if your deductible is $600 and your coinsurance is 80%, you are responsible for 100% of covered medical expenses up to $500 each season. Once you reach $600, your insurance company will initiate the claim process paying 80% of the costs, and you will be responsible for the remainder. Once you get your plan’s out-of-pocket maximum, your insurance company will begin paying 100% of eligible charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does health insurance start at a new job?

Companies determine when new employees begin receiving health insurance benefits.

What happens to health insurance when you leave a job?

If you decide to quit a job with benefits, you must tell your employer as soon as possible so that they can evaluate your alternatives for managing or replacing them. The sooner you understand your options, the more time you will have for study and analysis. Any insurance benefits you may have had will end on the month’s final day. As a result, choose your preceding day as carefully as feasible.

If you are leaving a good job or receiving a severance payout, seek an extra month or two of health coverage if required.

What to Do When Health Care Doesn’t Kick In Immediately at Your New Job?

If you’ve just changed jobs, you must wait 90 days before your health care features take effect.

Did you know that the federal government regulates the minimum waiting period?

The maximum waiting period for a company before granting benefits to new workers is ninety days. Not only does this save your new employer money (up to $410 per month), but it also allows them to check your loyalty before completing (and paying for) all the paperwork.

Do I need health insurance between jobs?

A health insurance plan may cover specific services if you need medical care. That is, once you meet the deductible, you and your plan will split the cost of your care. In addition, at 100%, under most insurance plans, they cover preventive care. 

Can I get health insurance after quitting a job?

Fortunately, even if you lose your work, you may still obtain health insurance. If you have a health savings account (HSA), the money will still be available to you even if you change jobs. You can use this money to help cover special medical expenses, which can also help you save money on health care while you have no job.

Bottom line

Since the termination of your old employer-sponsored health plan qualifies as a qualifying event, you are eligible for a particular enrollment period during which you can choose a new plan from the marketplace to cover you until your new employer’s plan goes into effect.

When you enroll in individual health insurance (either through the market or directly with an insurer), your contract is month-to-month. Therefore, you can cancel at any time, effective at the end of the month.


Adam Grabois is an expert in all aspects of Insurance and Property with 20 years of experience. He is a licensed broker of all lines including property, casualty, life, and health. As a licensed adjuster, he is well-versed in all aspects of insurance, and he owns All Needs Insurance agency in Florida.

He attended Tufts University where he earned his undergraduate degree, followed by a Master's degree from Columbia University.

Adam shares his breadth of experience by helping many businesses and individuals manage risk and protect themselves financially. He now shares this with the audience of the "Pro Insurance Info" website.

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