How do individual and group plans work for out-of-state residents?

Health insurance companies follow unique regulations that determine where both individuals and employers are able to purchase health insurance plans. You or your employer’s home state is often a determining factor in what those regulations are and where you are able to shop for insurance. We’ll walk you through the basics of what you need to know when looking to purchase individual and group plans across state lines.

Individual Plans

When looking to purchase an individual plan, one of the most important factors is your location. Health insurance companies are not allowed to sell individual plans outside of their state, therefore you must purchase an individual plan from an insurance company located in your area. offers a search engine to help you determine the individual plans available in your state.

Group plans

Group plans offered by an employer work a bit differently. Companies purchase group policies from health insurance providers located in the company headquarters’ home state and extend coverage to all of their employees, regardless of their location. For example, larger organizations with employees worldwide, such as auto companies headquartered in Michigan, can purchase insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan and extend the benefits to all of their employees, including those that live across state lines. If out-of-state employees choose to purchase an individual plan instead of join their employer’s plan, they must chose an insurer located in their home state.

Still have questions? Visit Health Insurance Central to ask questions, see answers and learn more about health insurance.


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