Trying to enroll in a major medical plan after Open Enrollment (Nov 1-Dec 15 each year) requires a qualifying life event to trigger a Special Enrollment Period. There are several life changes that can qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period and they revolve around: changes in household size, changes in residences, and loss of coverage.
Changes in household
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you or anyone in your household in the past 60 days:
- Got married
- Had a baby, adopted a child, or placed a child for foster care
- Got divorced or legally separated and lost health insurance. Note: Divorce or legal separation without losing coverage doesn’t qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period.
- Death. You’ll be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period if someone on your Marketplace plan dies and as a result you’re no longer eligible for your current health plan.
Changes in residence
Household moves that qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period:
- Moving to a new home in a new ZIP code or county
- Moving to the U.S. from a foreign country or United States territory
- A student moving to or from the place they attend school
- A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they both live and work
- Moving to or from a shelter or other transitional housing
Note: Moving only for medical treatment or staying somewhere for vacation doesn’t qualify you for an SEP.
Important: You must prove you had qualifying health coverage for one or more days during the 60 days before your move. You don’t need to provide proof if you’re moving from a foreign country or United States territory.
Loss of health insurance
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you or anyone in your household lost qualifying health coverage in the past 60 days OR expects to lose coverage in the next 60 days.
- Coverage losses that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period:
- Losing job-based coverage
- Losing individual health coverage for a plan or policy you bought yourself
- Losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP
- Losing eligibility for Medicare
- Losing coverage through a family member
More qualifying changes
- Other life circumstances that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period:
- Changes that make you no longer eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
- Becoming newly eligible for Marketplace coverage because you became a U.S. citizen
- Leaving incarceration
- AmeriCorps VISTA members starting or ending their service