Insurance Options outside Open Enrollment

Insurance Options outside Open Enrollment

Insurance Options outside Open Enrollment

If you miss the open enrollment deadline, you may be wondering if you can still enroll in health insurance so that you and your family are covered. Depending on your situation, you have options. No matter what, be sure to always ask yourself these questions before you buy.

Special Enrollment Period

A second option for getting coverage is special enrollment. This allows you to enroll in or change your long-term health insurance plan, but only if you meet certain criteria. To be eligible for special enrollment, you need to have recently gone through a qualifying life event. Just a few life events include:

  • Moving to a new area that offers you different plans, or isn't covered by your HMO network
  • Getting married
  • Having or adopting a child
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen

View a full list of qualifying life events.  

Generally, you have 60 days after the qualifying life event to enroll or change to a different plan. If you have insurance through your job, you may only have 30 days to enroll.

Enrollment at Any Time

Depending on your income, you may qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. There is no special enrollment period for those government-offered coverage options; you can apply at any time.

Members of American Indian tribes also can enroll any month, not just during open enrollment.

That’s a lot of information. If you still have questions, ask us below in the comments.