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

Steve Chapoton

| 2 min read

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.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.