Special Enrollment Period or Qualifying Event
Some life changes trigger what is called a "special enrollment" period. Special enrollment lets you get or change your health coverage outside of open enrollment.
The special enrollment period lasts 31 days from the date of a triggering event for a qualified individual or their dependents.
Examples of Qualifying Life Events
Change in Your Household Size
- Getting married
- Having a baby
- Adopting a child or placing a child for adoption or foster care
- Death of family member (causing you to lose eligibility in your current plan)
Losing Your Health Coverage
- Losing job-based coverage for any reason, including resigning, getting laid off, or getting fired
- Expiration of COBRA coverage
- Losing coverage under your parents' plan at age 26
- Getting divorced or legally separated (resulting in loss of coverage)
- Losing eligibility for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Note: Losing coverage that doesn't qualify as minimum essential coverage doesn't qualify you for a special enrollment period. Learn more at HealthCare.gov.
Change in Circumstance
- Permanently moving outside your plan's coverage area
- A change in income (affecting eligibility for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions)
Change in Status
- Gaining citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S.