You need a health insurance plan to maintain your health and wellbeing. You have spent time examining your options online, decided on the best program, and are ready to begin the enrollment process. Note that you can only apply for Marketplace health insurance during the annual Open Enrollment Period. But if you miss the enrollment window, you can still enroll through the Special Enrollment Period if you have had a QLE (qualifying life event). 

So what’s counted as a qualifying life event (QLE)?

It’s a significant life event (such as losing your health coverage, getting married, or adopting a child) that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period. When this occurs, you have the option of enrolling in health insurance outside of the open enrollment. You can get more information about Special Enrollment Periods here.

What are the various types of Qualifying Life Events?

The following is the list of qualifying life events that make you eligible for Marketplace insurance outside of the Open Enrollment Period.

i) Losing your health coverage

  • Losing employer-sponsored health insurance
  • Loss of coverage through a spouse or family member
  • Losing coverage due to divorce 
  • Turning 26 and are no longer covered by your parent’s health plan
  • Losing your COBRA health insurance
  • Loss of health coverage through Medicare, CHIP, and Medicaid
  • Losing an insurance policy you purchased for yourself

ii) Changes in the size of your household

  • Getting married 
  • Adopting a child or having a baby
  • Placing a child in welfare or foster care centers
  • Loss of medical insurance due to the death of a household member

iii) Changes in your address or residence

  • Losing your coverage when relocating to a new country or postal code
  • Loss of coverage when moving from one transitional housing to another
  • Losing health coverage when relocating to or from your place of study
  • Loss of coverage as a seasonal worker when relocating to or from your place of residence and employment
  • Migrating to the USA from a different country

iv) Additional life events that qualify

  • Beginning or ending your AmeriCorps VISTA service
  • Getting out of jail or prison
  • Obtaining citizenship in the United States
  • Becoming a Native Alaskan shareholder
  • Joining an officially designated tribe

In most circumstances, you have 60 days to enlist in a new health plan after the event. Please remember that each qualifying life event has a different time frame.

If you get married, adopt a child, have a baby, or get released from prison, you must enroll on the day of the QLE or within 60 days of its completion. If you have any other QLE, you can register 30 days before or 60 days after that event. 

It’s also worth noting that if you don’t register during your SEP, you might have to wait until the next annual enrollment window to apply. 

I’m fully ready! How do I sign up for a new health insurance plan?

Enlisting in a new health insurance plan is quite simple! You can get a quote by entering your zip code here. You can also reach out to the InsuranceShopping service agent who will help you sign up at (855) 913-1570.