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Life is hectic—whether it’s moving into your first home, getting a new job, or starting a family—our lives are constantly in flux, and the last thing anyone wants to worry about is being uninsured. The good news is that folks may have options to get health coverage during those "big" life moments.

While open enrollment doesn’t start again until November 15th 2014, there are life-changing situations that allow you to enroll in what’s called a “Special Enrollment Period” 60 days following the moment the qualifying life event occurs. That's only two months, so it’s important to move quickly!

How do I know if I qualify for “special enrollment?”

Life changing events that will allow you to enroll outside of the regular health coverage enrollment period include getting married, having a baby, getting a new job/losing employer coverage, moving, gaining citizenship, aging out of a parent’s insurance plan, and a multitude of other situations you can see outlined in this Health and Human Services video:

 

 

Special Enrollment is a great opportunity to access coverage, BUT, it’s important to know that Special Enrollment is only for those with qualifying life events—that means that “voluntarily ending coverage doesn’t qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. Neither does losing coverage that doesn’t qualify as minimum essential coverage.” 

If you’re still not sure if you qualify, try using this easy two-step screener tool to determine if you’re eligible: https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/

What do I do if I qualify for Special Enrollment?

If you have a qualifying life event, you can login into your healthcare.gov account (or create a new account if needed) to start the process: https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/b/welcome/ or call 1-800-318-2596.

From there, you will just complete your initial application, pick a plan that fits your health needs (don’t forget to check which providers and prescriptions are covered before choosing a plan!), and then start paying your monthly bill. That’s it!

It can be easy to forget the details when life is throwing you for loop, but make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to get covered and have one less thing on your plate to worry about.

If you still have questions about this or other parts of the healthcare law, please don't hesitate to email us at healthbeat@momsrising.org


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