What if you need health insurance but missed the open enrollment period? It is possible to still get enrolled in health insurance, but only if you qualify for a period called "special enrollment." Special enrollment generally triggers if you've met specific, qualifying life events.
Did You Change Your Family Situation?
If you got married, had a baby, adopted a child, or placed a child in foster care, your family situation has changed. You may qualify to enroll in health care insurance on the basis of these life-changing events. You may also be able to qualify for special enrollment if you got divorced or legally separated and lost insurance at that time.
If someone in your family passes away, you may also be able to qualify for special enrollment, if the death of your family member altered your existing healthcare insurance coverage.
Did You Change Your Residence?
If you moved, you might be able to qualify for special enrollment. You would need to move into a new zip code or a county in order to qualify, or moving into the United States from a foreign territory. If you're a student moving either to or away from school you may qualify, or if you move between places seasonally for work.
If you were simply temporarily relocated somewhere, such as for a vacation, you usually wouldn't qualify for a special enrollment period. You will also need to be able to show that you had qualifying coverage before you moved.
Healthcare plans have enrollment periods to avoid individuals going without insurance until they need it, which is why they often require proof of continuous coverage to enroll outside of the regular enrollment period.
Private Insurance Plans
There are private health insurance plans available that you can generally sign up for at any time. However, there's a caveat: if you go through a private insurance plan, you don't get the tax benefits of having health insurance. These are not qualified health insurance plans. You will still pay a tax penalty for not having insurance, and you won't get government assistance for paying for your insurance. You will, however, still be insured.
You may be able to qualify for a special enrollment processing; it simply depends on your personal situation. Contact Value Plus Insurance if you have questions about enrollment or the enrollment period.