Now that Covered California’s annual Open Enrollment period is closed (as of January 31), most people who want to add or change their health insurance coverage will have to wait until enrollment reopens in the fall. However, in certain cases you might be eligible for special enrollment period. If any of these qualifying life events occur during the year, you can still enroll in, or make changes to, a health insurance plan.
You lose health care coverage. If you become ineligible for Medi-Cal, or lose the health insurance you enjoyed through your job, you can apply for a new policy through Covered California.
Your income changes significantly. If your income changes so much that you become newly eligible for a subsidy to help with premiums, you are no longer eligible for your subsidy, or you are now eligible for a larger subsidy than you were receiving, you can utilize the special enrollment period.
You turn 26 years old. On your 26th birthday, you can no longer enjoy coverage under your parents’ health care plan. You can enroll in your own plan via Covered California.
You are released from jail or prison. You should apply for health care plans via Covered California.
You move into the state of California. If you had health insurance in your former state, or don’t have health insurance at all, you can utilize the special enrollment period under Covered California rules after you move here.
You welcome a new child into your family. Whether by birth, adoption, or foster care, you can add this child to your current plan or change from an Individual plan to a family plan. The reverse also applies if you place a child for adoption or into foster care.
You get married or enter into a domestic partnership. You and your new spouse can shop for an insurance policy together.
You become a citizen, national, or lawfully present. This change in residency status qualifies you for special enrollment.
You are a member of a federal recognized Alaska Native or American Indian tribe. You can enroll in health insurance or make changes once per month, at any time of year.
You experience some other exceptional circumstance. Covered California will decide on a case-by-case basis whether you qualify for a special enrollment period.
If you experience one of the above qualifying life events, you have 60 days from the date of the event to log into Covered California and make your changes. Otherwise, you will have to wait until Open Enrollment in the fall.
Remember, you don’t have to approach this decision alone. Call us for help, and we can assist you in applying for health insurance coverage and choosing a plan.