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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Reside in Two States?

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Question: I live in different states during the year. My summer home is in Michigan; my winter home is in California. Where do I sign up for health coverage? And if I sign up for a plan in one state, how do I find in-network health providers in the other state?

Answer: You don’t have a choice. You must buy coverage in the state where you officially reside. Your official state of residence is where you spend most of the year, where you pay taxes, where you register your cars, or are registered to vote. For instance, if you are buying coverage in California, but spend a significant amount of time in Michigan, you should buy a PPO plan from Anthem Blue Cross or Blue Shield of California, so that you can find participating in-network providers from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan when you are there.

1 Comment

I have a tangentially related issue. I have an apartment in one city in California, but spend most of my time in an adjancent city, ten miles away at my partner’s house. All of my mail goes to my partners house in the adjacent city, because of an ongoing mail theft issue in my neighborhood (for two years now).

Blue Shield, for the last year, has been incapable of keeping this straight, even though Covered California has the different residence and mailing addresses correctly and it has not changed for a couple years. But, sometimes Blue Shield sends mail to my residence address anyway.

I won’t go into the details, but I have had countless phone calls with Blue Shield, with countless representatives and supervisors and they can’t get it right. Finally one Blue Shield rep who really understood the system told me that basically they would never get it right and that it would be better if I just used the mailing address as my only address. Believe me, after eight months of phone calls, I accept that Blue Shield will never get this right.

So my question is: Will it potentially create problems for me to use my partner’s house as my residence address for Covered California? I noticed that the rates are actually much lower for her zip code. Frankly, I feel a bit ripped off, because, all of my doctors are in her city, I spend almost all of my time there, but get charged a much higher insurance premium, just because my apartment is on the other side of a city line in a giant metropolitan area.

Still, I don’t want it to be considered fraud or something, if I use my partner’s address as my residence address. I don’t want this to come back to haunt me if I have a big medical claim in the future.

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