What is a qualifying event?

What happens when life throws you a curveball? Would you know what to do to keep your health insurance? 

Outside of the open enrollment period each fall when we’re allowed to sign up for a health insurance plan, you generally can’t buy new coverage. But there are a few exceptions. 

After what’s known as a qualifying life event, you’ll typically have 60 days to make a change.

Need some guidance? Here’s how to prepare for whatever life brings your way:

What Counts?

These events might qualify you to buy new health insurance:

  • Getting married 
  • Getting divorced or legally separated
  • Losing a job
  • Giving birth, adopting or fostering a child
  • Any move that changes your ZIP code or county of residence
  • Turning 26 and losing access to a parent’s policy

Example: If you adopt a child on May 1, you would have until June 29 to buy them health insurance. 

What Doesn’t Count?

Special enrollment periods have exceptions. You can’t make a change when:

  • You lose coverage because you stopped paying your premiums. 

  • You get divorced or separated, but the split doesn’t affect your health insurance.

  • You move temporarily to get medical treatment or enjoy a vacation.

  • You sign up for COBRA to keep your insurance when you get laid off, but you end up dropping it because you can’t afford the premiums. 

How to Buy Coverage During a Special Enrollment Period

Navigating health insurance plans can be tricky, but we’re here to help.

Need to change your coverage? Need to sign up for a short-term policy? Reach out anytime to discuss your options.