Purchasing health insurance coverage is not something you can do all year round. Every year, there is a dedicated period called open enrollment, wherein shopping for health insurance or changing your coverage should be done. It usually begins in November and ends in January, depending on the state you’re from.

Despite that, not everyone can purchase a health insurance plan on schedule. When this happens, one alternative to consider is the special enrollment period.

What Is Special Enrollment?
It is the period outside open enrollment where individuals can still buy health insurance. Here, you are given at least 30 to 60 days after a qualifying life event to enroll in a health plan or change your existing coverage. If you fail to do so, you’ll have to wait for the next open enrollment period or try other health insurance alternatives.

Who Qualifies for Special Enrollment?
To be eligible for this enrollment period, you need to have experienced a qualifying life event or a major change in your life following the open enrollment. Here are some of them:

  • Change in the household ‐ It includes marriage, divorce, or the death of a spouse plus the birth or adoption of a child into the family.
  • Change in residence ‐ If you move to a different state or if you have just arrived in the US from another country, you will be qualified for special enrollment. It also applies to leaving incarceration.
  • Change in the workplace ‐ Resigning, getting fired, or experiencing reduced income from your job can trigger special enrollment. You’ll also be qualified if your employer removes your group health plan benefits without a replacement.
  • Change in health coverage ‐ It includes loss of coverage because of the end of your eligibility period, either in Medicaid or your parents’ health insurance. Besides that, they also apply to the end of COBRA, Medicare, or CHIP coverage.

Talk to a Trusted Insurance Company
Despite missing open enrollment, you can still shop for health insurance should you qualify for the special enrollment period. If you’re unsure whether you have other alternatives in purchasing a health plan, it’s best to consult a professional. Contact Midwest Employee Benefits in Sioux Falls, MD to learn about Medicare products, health coverage, and more.