How Do I Cancel a Health Insurance Policy?

by Stephanie Ellen ; Updated October 25, 2017

Items you will need

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Envelope
  • Postage stamp

A health insurance policy is a contract between you and your health insurance provider, and the contract will state under what terms you can cancel the policy. If you want to cancel a health insurance policy, then you must usually cancel the policy in writing, although some insurers may accept a phone call. However, it's best to send a letter to cancel your insurance policy, to ensure that you have something in writing should there be a dispute over the date of cancellation.

Step 1

Call your insurance company and let them know you'd like to cancel the policy. The cancellation may take effect immediately, or you may have to wait until the end of a billing period (for example, the end of the month), depending upon your health insurer's policies.

Step 2

Compose a letter to your insurer, informing them that you would like to cancel your health insurance plan. You will find a sample letter in the Resources section.

Step 3

Mail the letter to your insurance company.


  • Before you mail your letter of cancellation, double-check with your insurer that you have their correct mailing address. You may also want to consider sending the letter with delivery confirmation (available from the post office for a nominal fee).


  • Normally there is no problem with canceling your policy, as long as you are not under a legal obligation to provide it to a family member or other person. (For example, it may be part of an alimony or child support agreement.)

    If you are a Medicare recipient and have obtained private insurance assigning Medicare benefits to the insurer, you must apply to the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) before changing insurance; otherwise, you may be open to financial penalties.

About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.