Insurance when changing jobs


I am beginning to consider that it may be time for me to change jobs. It’s been 7 years since I last changed, and in the past I didn’t worry too much about it. I just made sure they had a plan with a well known insurance company and I haven’t had any problems being covered. I don’t think the term “pre existing condition” was used as commonly then as it is now.

I am feeling more paranoid this time with stories I’ve read here and other sites. What kinds of steps can you take with a prospective employer to determine if their plan will cover you? Of course I would ask about coverage before accepting an offer, but I am cautious about how much trust to place in the spoken word on this. Is it possible to get official documentation to determine if your eligibility before employment begins?

I live in Illinois, as these types of things tend to vary between states.


If you contact your current insurer, you can get a certificate of “credible coverage” that proves that you haven’t been without insurance over a period of time. When you present the certificate to your future insurer within 30 days, you are eligible for coverage and the whole “pre existing condition” issue goes out the window. This is a national protection, so it should be the same for you in Illinois.

A few years ago, I moved to a new state and had to switch insurance companies, too. Then, I switched again with my new job and again last year when I went back to college. When I switched to BCBSTX, they gave me a hard time at first… I had to provide all this documentation about my (then) recent ER visit, all previous medical files… But, they approved coverage since I had my little certificate proving I’d not been without insurance.

Good Luck!


My understanding (but I live in California which is very different than most states) is that if you sign up during your first 30 days of work they can’t ask for medical background information when you sign up and can’t deny you based on a preexisting condition. Now I also think that it has something to do with whether you had a lapse in insurance coverage. I have had several jobs over the past 5 years and have never had problems - I just make sure I sign up almost immediately upon starting and make sure my insurance from my previous job doesn’t lapse (i.e. do COBRA if necessary). I’ve had HMO’s (i live in an area with fabulous doctors and hospitals so an HMO has been fine) but I don’t think it makes a difference. Good luck!


I live in Illinois as well and have switched jobs post-diagnosis with no issues. As long as there is no lapse in coverage, which is what it sounds like for you, there shouldn’t be any issue. This page provides everything you need to know:


Hi Craig,
This is one of those things that I believe differs from state to state. In California, you can’t be denied insurance for a condition if you can demonstrate you were insured for it up to when you change your policy (so if you were covered in your previous job, you can’t be denied in your new job as long as there is no lapse in between).
I cahnged jobs not that long ago and I was pretty up front with the HR folks during the interview. I asked about pre-existing conditions and they even gave me access to the Insurance Company via Telephone to ask any questions in advance.

Good luck.



Hi Craig,

I second the comments below. You should also check with your new employer to see if they have any eligibility wait period before coverage is available. If they do, you could consider bargaining for them to pay for your COBRA coverage on your current plan until you are eligible.