Military personnel need health insurance just like everybody else. The fact that they can be deployed and required on a short-notice basis makes it difficult for them to give the right amount of attention to their personal and financial affairs. Health insurance coverage is a particular area that can be negatively affected by the policy holder moving away or relocating for an extended time. All applicants and policy holders who are considering military duty should be familiar with the insurance company’s specific regulations.
Military Health Insurance
Every insurance company’s guidelines will be different, so look for a policy that will take the special needs of military personnel into account. For example, it would be hard for anyone in deployed military duty to pay their routine premium payments on time, or renew their policies when deployed. Policy-holding military personnel may have to make advance arrangements for payments, such as early renewal or having the payments automatically made by the bank. Some companies may allow certain coverage to be suspended during the deployment.
Active Duty Coverage
Military personnel on active duty already receive health coverage benefits through the military after 30 consecutive service days. Reservists also receive military coverage, as do National Guard members. However, many of these also retain health insurance coverage for themselves and their families from other insurance companies, especially when they are not on active duty. Some employers cease coverage while a serviceperson is on active duty, so make advance arrangements for uninterrupted health insurance coverage when going into and returning from deployment.
Military Health Insurance Considerations
Since some employers do not go on paying for your health coverage after you have been called to service, many military personnel are left without extra coverage for their families. However, federal law mandates that employees can continue receiving the benefits of health insurance coverage at their own cost. The Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, or USERRA, as well as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, allow continued coverage for as long as 18 months, though at higher prices.
Power of Attorney Designation for Military Personnel
It is important for military personnel to designate power of attorney to a spouse, trustworthy friend or family member. This will authorize them to make important health insurance or other legal decisions while you are deployed. To designate power of attorney the individual must be present with you as an official legal document is signed before a notary public. Notaries can be easily found through local business listings. Many attorneys are also notary publics and can draw up the paperwork that is required.
Other Insurance Plans for Military Personnel
Active-duty military personnel have many other insurance policy options open to them besides just health coverage. There are standard automobile insurance policies available to both active and retired military personnel and cater to their specific needs. Since members of the military are required to have the automobile insurance mandated by their homeland or their foreign country of service it is important to find an insurance company that works with military personnel. Many companies offer sizable discount plans to active military members for health, life, automobile and other types of coverage.
The men and women who serve in the armed forces and reserve units which protect our nation deserve to be given consideration for their sacrifices and accommodated by insurance companies. Thankfully there are companies which give such services to members of our military, as health insurance for military personnel and their families is a must.