How to get health insurance after open enrollment closes. You can get coverage all year round as your life evolves.
Moving to a new city, growing your family, getting a new job, these are but a few of life's changes that allow you to enroll in a new health plan, regardless of whether or not it is open enrollment.
Access to care
The main idea behind the Affordable Care Act was and is to provide access to quality, affordable health care services to tens of millions of families across the country who would otherwise struggle to gain access to a robust network of physicians, mental health professionals, quality medications and therapies, and so on.
To date, the ACA or Obamacare has been the single most instrumental conduit via which over 20 million American households now have access to care.
The ACA uses various tools to accomplish its goals. From tax credits that help families pay their monthly health insurance premiums, to cost-sharing measures that seek to reduce other point-of-service costs associated with health insurance, "Access" is the main idea.
Changing, or getting health insurance outside of open enrollment
That being said, one has many opportunities to signup for, or change coverage during the course of the year. Opportunites that are not obscured by the lack of an "open enrollment" period. These types of enrollments outside of the typical year-end open enrollment periods are called "Special enrollments."
Life changes that can qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period:
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. Pick a plan by the last day of the month and your coverage can start the first day of the next month.
Had a baby, adopted a child, or placed a child for foster care. Your coverage can start the day of the event — even if you enroll in the plan up to 60 days afterward.
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.
Died. 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
If you're a student, moving to or from the place you attend school
If you're a seasonal worker, moving to or from the place you 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 a Special Enrollment Period.
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.
Losing coverage through a parent or other family member
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you lose qualifying health coverage you had through a parent, spouse, or other family member. This might happen if:
You turn 26 (or the maximum dependent age allowed in your state) and can no longer be on a parent’s health plan.
You lose job-based health coverage through a family member’s employer because that family member loses health coverage or coverage for dependents.
You lose health coverage through a spouse due to a divorce or legal separation.
You lose health coverage due to the death of a family member.
You lose health coverage through a parent or guardian because you’re no longer a dependent.
Important: Voluntarily dropping coverage you have as a dependent doesn't qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period unless you also had a decrease in household income or a change in your previous coverage that made you eligible for savings on a Marketplace plan.