Life is always full of surprises and changes. Job loss, marriage, child birth, moving. Any of these things could trigger the kind of life change that makes you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
If you qualify for a SEP, you may still be able to get health insurance in 2017, outside the open enrollment period that ended earlier in the year.
But you have to hurry. The marketplace usually gives you just 60 days after the life-changing event to enroll in a plan. Miss the deadline and you have to wait for the next Open Enrollment Period, which begins Nov 1, 2017 for 2018 healthcare coverage.
Not sure you qualify? The health marketplace makes it easy to find out by answering a few questions. You can go here to find out if you qualify: https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/
Some healthcare programs have year-round enrollment, including Medicaid and CHIP, also known in Florida as Kidcare, the children’s insurance program. These are not tied to SEPs.
The federally licensed healthcare navigators with the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida enroll consumers through healthcare.gov all year long and can help answer your SEP questions. Call 877-553-7453 to speak to a navigator or make an appointment for in-person assistance. More information is also available at http://www.efof.org/acanavigation
Coverage Matters. Even though it’s outside the open enrollment period, there’s no reason to go without health insurance for the rest of 2017. You may still be able to enroll under special circumstances or if you qualify for Medicaid.
There are certain change of circumstances – or life events – that would make you eligible.
Loss of health coverage
Losing existing health coverage, including job-based, individual, and student plans
Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP
Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan
Changes in household
Death in the family
Getting married or divorced
Having a baby or adopting a child
Changes in residence
Moving to a different ZIP code or county
A student moving to or from the place they attend school
A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they both live and work
Moving to or from a shelter or other transitional housing
Other qualifying events
Changes in your income that affect the coverage you qualify for
Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
Becoming a U.S. citizen
Leaving incarceration (jail or prison)
AmeriCorps members starting or ending their service.