Life can move a mile a minute, and as we all know, changes can sneak up on us. Whether they are expected or not, one thing we know for sure is that if we experience big life changes, we have health insurance options. We can make changes to health insurance status during special enrollment periods outside of regular open enrollment periods, whether you have employer-provided insurance or purchase on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Although every situation is different, we’ve provided examples of life events that can allow you to change health insurance options.
Have, Adopt or Foster a Child
If a child is born, adopted, or fostered into your family, you may qualify for a new or different health coverage. With Marketplace coverage, these changes may allow you to get a bigger advanced premium tax credit to help pay for health insurance. If you’re currently without health care, Medicaid might also be available to you or your child, depending on your income. Under a private plan, you may need to talk to HR or your insurance carrier about adding your child to your health insurance plan.
Tie the Knot
If you marry, you or your spouse can use the special enrollment period to enroll or change coverage. These updates may change your eligible coverage, savings or premium tax credits, so be sure to report your union right away.
Beyond all the other legal paperwork required for a divorce, your eligible health care coverage or savings may change. If you are currently without health care, you may be able to get insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, or Medicaid may be available to you depending on your income.
Change in Residence
If you’re moving across state boundaries, you may also need to make some changes to your current health care plan. Your eligible coverage, savings or premium tax credits may change based on your new residence. Check with your new state Marketplace (if applicable or healthcare.gov) if you have Marketplace insurance, or employer if you have employer-provided insurance, about changes to your coverage based on your new address.
Change in Employment
A new job, lost job, or change in income may affect your health coverage or savings. If you fall below a certain income threshold, you may be eligible for Medicaid or a bigger advanced premium tax credit if you purchase on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Remember the Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have health insurance coverage, but if you experience any of the life changes mentioned, you may qualify for a special 60-day enrollment period outside of the regular enrollment period.