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Health Insurance Market Reforms: Portability

Most Americans have access to health insurance through an employer-sponsored health plan, a fact that has made changing or losing a job a complex issue for the purposes of maintaining health insurance. Moving to a new job can be hard if the employer does not offer health insurance, or if the new employer’s health plan is not as generous as the previous employer’s plan. And with limited protections for people with pre-existing conditions, many people stay in jobs to keep their insurance rather than risk losing coverage. Portability, in the context of health insurance, describes the ability of an employee to maintain access to health insurance coverage and comprehensive benefits after leaving a job. It also applies to the ability of those purchasing insurance on their own to drop one insurance policy and buy another.

This fact sheet explains how portability is regulated under current law and how the Affordable Care Act will affect portability in 2014.

Fact Sheet (.pdf)