Open Enrollment is Now Over
Open Enrollment is the only period of time that you can buy, renew or make changes to your health insurance unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment period. The 2015 Open Enrollment will start November 15, 2014, and end February 15, 2015.
After Open Enrollment, you can enroll in private coverage through the Marketplace only if you have a qualifying life event or a complex situation related to applying in the Marketplace.
If you think you qualify for a special enrollment period, start a Marketplace application. When you finish your application and get to your “To-do list” page, you’ll see a statement that you can enroll only if you have a special enrollment period. Continue the process and enroll in a plan.
Qualifying Life Events
If you have one of the following qualifying life events, you can have a Special Enrollment period. Your Special Enrollment period starts on the date of the qualifying life event and ends 60 days later. You will have only 60 days from the date of the event to make a change or enroll in a new health insurance plan.
Here are some examples of qualifying life events:
- Marriage, having a baby, adopting a child or placing a child for adoption or foster care, moving your residence, gaining citizenship, leaving incarceration.
- Losing other health coverage—due to losing job-based coverage, divorce, the end of an individual policy plan year in 2014, COBRA expiration, aging off a parent’s plan, losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, and similar circumstances. Important: Voluntarily ending coverage doesn’t qualify you for a special enrollment period. Neither does losing coverage that doesn’t qualify as minimum essential coverage.
For people already enrolled in Marketplace coverage: Having a change in income or household status that affects eligibility for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
Lower costs for Marketplace plans: You may be able to get premium tax credits or lower out-of-pocket costs that reduce how much you pay for coverage.
You can enroll in a plan either through the Marketplace or outside the Marketplace if you qualify for a special enrollment period but your income is too high to get lower costs.
If you do not buy or change your plan within your Special Enrollment period, you must wait until the next Open Enrollment period to get or change coverage for 2015. Remember, having health insurance is required by law. If you don’t have health insurance for 3 months or longer during 2014, you may have to pay a tax penalty. You can learn more about the tax penalty and more at www.healthcare.gov.