Do you qualify for a special enrollment period?
Special enrollment periods allow you to obtain health insurance outside of the standard open enrollment if your circumstances meet one of the following criteria to be eligible for special enrollment:
- Loss of job and/or expiration of COBRA coverage
- Moved to a new coverage area
- Recently divorced or married
- Recently became a widow or widower
- Aged out of your parents’ coverage
- Recently had a baby or adopted a child
Open enrollment is closed. What does that mean?
Open enrollment is the period established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during which ACA-compliant health insurance companies cannot underwrite or reject your application for health insurance based on pre-existing medical conditions or your financial situation. Open enrollment for health insurance plans starting in 2019 was November 1 – December 15, 2018, meaning you can only enroll in an ACA-compliant individual or group health plan if you qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP).
What if I qualify for a special enrollment period?
If you’ve recently experienced one or more of the above “qualifying life events,” you may still be able to apply for coverage outside of open enrollment.
If you’ve recently started a new job, your employer or union will tell you how to proceed in enrolling for group coverage. Depending on your job, your employer may have special enrollment dates set for new employees to enroll in coverage. When your coverage starts will be determined by the insurance company who issues your group plan and employer.
Changes to your family situation.
If you’ve experienced qualifying changes to your family situation you may want to partner with a health insurance agent who can help you navigate the special enrollment process. A qualified agent will be able to help you gather the necessary information, submit paperwork, and find a plan that fits both your lifestyle and your budget whether your marital status has recently changed, a family member has left your plan, or you’ve recently become a parent.
Working with an agent is particularly useful when you’re new to your area, as they connect you with opportunities for coverage and help you choose a plan that makes sense for your lifestyle, budget, and healthcare needs. When you’re new to an area and searching for new healthcare professionals, experienced agents can direct you to recommended doctors based on local networks and whether or not your new plan covers certain physicians and practices.