What does having a baby, getting married, changing jobs, or moving to a new state have in common? Well, they are all life changes that can make you eligible for the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) where you can apply for new health insurance as the result of what is considered a “Qualifying Life Event.”
Not sure if you qualify for a Qualifying Life Event or Special Enrollment Period for health insurance? Keep reading to learn more.
What is a Special Enrollment Period?
There are three general categories of qualifying life events that can make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. These include:
- loss of health coverage due to losing a job,
- changes in your household like getting married or having a baby,
- and moving to a new state.
If you qualify for the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) you can change your health plan or find a new plan on the Marketplace outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period that starts in November. While there is an end for the OEP, there is no pre-set Special Enrollment Period, rather the SEP period begins when you experience a qualifying event.
Also, be aware you can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) anytime throughout the year, even if you don’t qualify for the Special Enrollment Period.
Wondering if you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period? Simply call our agents at McKnight & McKnight Insurance! In a short phone call, we will help you determine if you are eligible and walk you through the coverage options available to you. Schedule a phone appointment today!
How Long Does a Special Enrollment Period Last?
You have 60 days following a Qualifying Life Event to enroll in a new healthcare plan. The 60 days starts the day you welcome your baby, lose your job, get married, or move to a new state.
If you miss your Special Enrollment Period, you will have to wait to enroll in insurance until the next Open Enrollment Period, generally November 1st-December 15th.
While you are here > I Missed Open Enrollment. What Can I Do Now?
Qualifying Life Events
Events that qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) include:
Loss of Health Coverage
If you lose your existing health coverage you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Generally, you may qualify if:
- You lose your job or job-provided health care
- You graduate and lose your student health plan
- You lose your Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP eligibility
- You turn 26 and are ineligible to be on your parent’s health insurance plan
Note: If you lose your insurance coverage due to non-payment of your monthly premiums, you will not be eligible for a SEP.
Changes in Your Household
If the number of people in your household has increased or decreased, you are now eligible for a SEP. You are eligible if:
- You got married
- You got divorced or legally separated
- You had or adopted a baby
- Someone in your immediate family has died
- You gained or became someone’s dependent
To apply for a Special Enrollment Period due to a change-of-household, you may need to provide documentation such as a marriage license, birth certificate, or court order.
Changes in Residence
If you move, you may qualify for a SEP, especially if you moved to a new state. Generally, you will qualify for a SEP if you:
- Moving to a new state, ZIP code, or county
- Are a student moving between the place you attend school and home
- Are a seasonal worker moving between the place you live and work
- Are moving out of a shelter or transitional living
If you have moved and had health insurance for at least 60 days before your move, you can apply for a Special Enrollment Period. You will not qualify for a SEP if you move for medical treatment or an extended vacation though.
If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, contact our agents at McKnight & McKnight Insurance Solutions! We’re licensed in multiple states and can help you choose your next healthcare plan!
2022 Health Insurance Coverage
While it is no longer required for all Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act, there is no reason to go without health insurance when there are so many affordable options and subsidies available.
If you think that you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period or have any questions regarding health care coverage, call our team at McKnight & McKnight Insurance to speak with a licensed insurance agent.