Each fall, Open Enrollment allows us the opportunity to sign up for a new healthcare plan, or change from our existing plan into a new one. But what if you missed the deadline and find yourself without healthcare, or needing to make changes, at some other time during the year?
In certain cases, you might qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you experience one of these Qualifying Life Events, you should get in touch with us right away to review your options.
You lose your health insurance coverage. Coverage can be lost when you change jobs, you lose access to a student healthcare plan, you turn 26 and age out of your parents’ plan, or you become ineligible for Medi-Cal due to an income increase. Some other circumstances might also apply.
Your household dynamics change. You get married or divorced, or you add a child to the household through birth or adoption. A death in the family might also be a Qualifying Life Event.
Your residence changes. You move into a new area (county or even zip code, if your healthcare plan doesn’t offer service there), you’re a migrant worker who moves for work, or you’re a student who moves to or away from school. Those who are leaving transitional housing (such as a shelter) can also qualify.
Some other events. Although they’re less common, these events can also qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period:
- You leave jail or prison
- You become a US citizen
- You become a member of a recognized Native American tribe
- Your income changes to the extent that your coverage qualifications also change
- You are an Americorps member, starting or ending your service
Please keep in mind that your Special Enrollment Period will last for only 60 days, from the time of one of these Qualifying Life Events. So, you still need to avoid procrastination and give yourself time to make an informed decision. Give us a call if you think you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period at any point during this year, and we can help guide you through your healthcare plan options.