A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) is a window of time, outside of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Open Enrollment Period, during which eligible individuals can sign up for a health insurance policy.
What Qualifies You for a Special Enrollment Period?
An individual is eligible for an SEP when he or she is experiencing what is called a qualifying life event. Without one of these events, you must wait until the next Open Enrollment Period, which typically begins on November 1, to apply for coverage under a new health insurance policy for an effective date of January 1 of the next year.
What does that Special Enrollment Period window look like? It does depend on the actual event, but at the very least it starts on the date of your qualifying event and ends 60 days later.
What Is Considered a Qualifying Life Event for Health Insurance?
Though not a full list, here are some of the most common qualifying life events:
- Getting married
- Having a baby
- Losing health coverage (This includes job-based, student, and individual plans.)
- Becoming a U.S. citizen
- Relocating to a new ZIP code
But don’t forget, you only have 60 days from the date of your event to take advantage of your Special Enrollment Period.
How Do I Apply for a Special Enrollment Period?
HealthMarkets can help you compare plans online and find the best price available on the plans that we offer, all at no cost to you. You can also call us today at (800) 304-3414 to speak to a licensed insurance agent and review your options.