Health Insurance Special Enrollment Periods
You may sign up for new health and medical insurance outside of the yearly Open Enrollment Period when certain qualifying life events occur. In some instances, you have up to 60 days to elect new insurance coverage.
Qualifying Events For Health Insurance Change
- Getting married
- Having, adopting, or placement of a child
- Medical Child Support Orders (MCSO) issued by state or federal court
- Permanently moving to a new area that offers different health plan options
- Losing other health coverage due to a job loss, divorce, loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP
- Expiration of COBRA coverage or a health plan being de-certified.
- Those covered in an Insurance Marketplace (state or federal exchange) and having a change in income or household status that affects eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
Voluntarily Quitting Health Coverage Is Not A Qualifying Event
Stopping health coverage for not paying insurance premiums are not considered loss of coverage. Losing coverage that is not minimum essential coverage is also not considered loss of coverage.
If you were to quit your job or get fired, you can keep your employer’s health plan by using your COBRA rights. If you do not make your premium payments and lose that coverage, you will not be able to enroll in major medical health insurance until the federal open enrollment or through your next employer.
Length Of Time To Enroll In A Qualified Health Plan
You have 60 days from the date of your triggering event to enroll in a qualified health plan.
It’s highly recommended that you start the enrollment process as soon possible; within 1-2 weeks of your event. This ensures the process goes smoothly and you’re able to secure your new coverage.
Job Loss And COBRA During Special Enrollment Period
In the case of job loss, employers with 20 or more employees are required by law to offer a continuation of health insurance benefits. You should receive a notice of your right to continuing group health coverage notice from your former employer within 60 days of the date when you lost coverage. When you are on a continuation of benefits covered under COBRA, you pay the full monthly premium of the insurance.
A cost effective way to acquire health insurance while in between jobs is through a Short-Term Major Medical plan. These plans offer affordable coverage for new injury or sickness for a fraction of the cost. They offer month-to-month flexibility and can cover a gap in insurance until the next open or special enrollment period.