Health insurance plans have specific enrollment periods during which you can change your health insurance plans. Since life doesn’t always go as planned, there are times when you need to enroll outside the normal time period. Fortunately, insurance plans allow for enrollment outside the normal periods if you experience a life event. Here are five life events for special enrollment periods for health insurance.
In 2020, FEMA announced a federal public health emergency due to COVID-19, and this designation opens the doors for many opportunities, including special enrollment periods for health insurance. If you missed the regular enrollment period for your health insurance due to COVID-19, you might qualify for a special enrollment period.
Changes in Your Household
Changes to your household is another life event that triggers a special enrollment period for health insurance. This includes changes to your marital status, new children (birth, foster care, and adoption), and the loss of a spouse or partner who was the primary person on your health insurance. You must request a special enrollment period within 60 days of the change to your household.
Loss of Coverage or Eligibility
Another life event for a special enrollment period is a loss of coverage. This may include losing your job, changes to income that affect Medicaid or Medicare eligibility, and losing coverage through a family member, either due to job loss or reduced benefits from the employer.
If you have recently become a US citizen, you may qualify for a special enrollment period for health insurance. Special enrollment periods also help individuals who become members of tribes or an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Corporation shareholder.
In some cases, relocation may qualify you for a special enrollment period for health insurance. A common situation for special enrollment is moving; students who move to another location for school, seasonal workers who relocate, and moving back to the US from a foreign country. If you were recently incarcerated and are now being released, this may qualify you for a special enrollment period. In most cases, you will need to provide documentation that you were covered by health insurance for at least one day during the previous 60 days just prior to your move.