Open enrollment for 2015 health coverage may be over, but certain circumstances will still allow you to sign up for—or change—insurance plans. Consider the following events that qualify consumers for special enrollment periods.
You tried to enroll, but couldn’t.
There were fewer technical difficulties this time around, but if you tried to enroll and were unsuccessful due to a website glitch, agent/employee error or misinformation, you may be allowed a 60-day special enrollment period.
You’ve lost your employer-sponsored health benefits.
If you lose your job, your employer cuts your hours, or your employer-sponsored health insurance is no longer available, you may be allowed a 60-day special enrollment period to sign up through the marketplace.
You’re no longer eligible for other types of insurance.
Maybe an income increase has disqualified you for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Perhaps you just turned 26 and can no longer stay on your parents’ insurance. If your circumstances change and you lose eligibility for one insurance plan, you may be allowed a 60-day special enrollment period to sign up for another.
Your place of residence has changed.
If you are a new citizen of the United States, or you just moved back to the U.S. after living abroad, you may be allowed a 60-day special enrollment period to sign up for an Affordable Care Act compliant health insurance program. You can also qualify for a special enrollment period if you were just released from prison.
An emergency or disaster prevented you from signing up.
If you were suffering from a serious medical condition, or experienced a natural disaster, that prevented you from enrolling in a health insurance plan, you may qualify for a 60-day special enrollment period.
Your family circumstances have changed.
If you get married, divorced, legally separated, have a baby, adopt a child, or someone in your household dies, you may qualify for a 60-day special enrollment period to enable you to make changes to your marketplace health insurance plan.
Your income has changed.
If you qualified for a federal subsidy when you signed up for health insurance but are now making more money, you may qualify for a special enrollment period to enable you to choose a new plan. (Note: failure to do so could actually result in a large bill from the IRS when you file your 2015 taxes.) Conversely, if you’re now earning less money and qualify for a larger subsidy, you may also be able to adjust your plan.
You moved to a new service area.
If you have marketplace health insurance and move out of the plan’s service area, you may qualify for a 60-day special enrollment period to choose a new plan.
Open enrollment for 2016 begins on November 1 and ends on January 31. Please don’t hesitate to contact us before then to discuss a special enrollment period for a change in circumstance or get the answers to any other health insurance questions.