In general, the date that your policy becomes effective is after your first premium payment has been made. This date is determined by your health insurance company, so it can also be the date that you applied for a policy or the date that your application was accepted.
In some situations, if you’re going through your employer for health insurance, there may be a waiting period before your insurance policy becomes effective. This can be anywhere from 30 to 180 days, and it’s generally determined by the employer. Someone at your company, usually one of your Human Resources representatives will have the information available.
Examples of How an Effective Date Works
Let’s say that you’ve applied for an insurance policy and the provider has accepted your application. The insurance provider, in this example, doesn’t consider your policy effective until you’ve made your first premium payment.
If you decide to go to the doctor before you’ve made you first premium payment, you may be expecting to have your doctor’s visit covered. However, since the policy isn’t effective (again, because you haven’t made your first payment), your visit won’t be covered under your new health insurance plan, and you can be left footing 100% of the bill for the medical services you received. This is why it is so important to be aware of when your effective date is.