What is a Special Enrollment?
Under the Affordable Care Act you can typically sign up for a health insurance plan only during the annual Open Enrollment which is a period of time determined by the federal government. Currently
Open Enrollment is closed.
However, if you missed the Open Enrollment Period for this year you may still qualify to enroll in
a health insurance plan! You’ll need to have a “qualifying life event” to be able to enroll in a new
major medical health plan or change your existing coverage. In most cases, a qualifying life event
will trigger a 60-day Special Enrollment Period (SEP) during which you can change your existing coverage or apply for a new plan.
Check the list below of life events that would allow you to purchase health insurance outside of
Do you qualify for special enrollment?
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you have had any of the following life events:
- Marriage or divorce
- Having a baby, adopting a child, or placing a child for adoption or foster care
- Moving your residence, gaining citizenship, leaving incarceration
- Losing other health coverage — due to losing job-based coverage, the end of an individual policy plan year in 2014, COBRA expiration, aging off a parent’s plan, losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP. Important: Voluntarily ending coverage doesn’t qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. Neither does losing coverage that doesn’t qualify as minimum essential coverage.
- Gaining status as member of an Indian tribe. Click here to learn more if this applies to you!
- Other specific circumstances related to your attempts to enroll in coverage during the previous Open Enrollment Period — Click here to learn more.
More about Special Enrollment Periods
If you have a qualifying event that triggers a special enrollment period, we recommend that you have documentation of your qualifying life event with you when you apply for new coverage – whether you apply online or offline.
You should also be aware that you’re not likely to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you voluntarily cancel your existing coverage or lose it because you didn’t pay your premiums or other bills.