Understanding the Special Enrollment Period

Based on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, health insurance is mandatory for every citizen of United States.

During the Annual Enrollment Period, anyone is eligible to apply. For 2016, the enrollment period ended on January 31st. For those who are still uninsured, they must wait until the next enrollment period which starts on November 1, 2016 and runs through January 31, 2017.

Special Enrollment Period

Contrary to the name, there is no official specific period of time when the special enrollment starts and ends. (However, one could argue that the current Special Enrollment Period began February 1, 2016 and will end October 31, 2016.) Special Enrollment Period describes anytime outside of the annual open enrollment period when you can enroll in a health insurance plan or change your current plan. Instead of using specific schedules, Special Enrollment Period is determined by a number of different life events. This means applicants are eligible to enroll as they undergo one or more of the following life events:

  • Losing other health insurance plans
  • Becoming ineligible for Medicaid
  • Getting married
  • Having a baby, placing a child for adoption, or adopting a child
  • Gaining or becoming a dependent
  • Having a change in income that affects eligibility for premium tax credits
  • Gaining citizenship or leaving incarceration
  • Moving to a new area with different health plans

You can visit HealthCare.gov for a more complete list of eligibility requirements regarding the Special Enrollment Period.

To get affordable health insurance that suits your needs and financial circumstances, it is recommended to consult with an independent agent (such as those at WNC Health Insurance) and compare health insurance plans and prices before making a purchase.  Contact WNC Health Insurance to find out more about more about the Special Enrollment Period today!