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You may be able to enroll in coverage outside the normal Covered California’s open-enrollment period, if you’ve experienced a “qualifying life event.” There are a number of different life events under the Affordable Care Act that could make you eligible for special enrollment.
What is Considered a Qualifying Life Event?
Life events that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period include, but are not limited to:
- Getting married
- Having a baby
- Adopting a child or placing a child for adoption or foster care
- Losing other health coverage
- Moving to a new permanent residence
- Gaining citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S.
- Leaving incarceration
- For people already enrolled in Marketplace coverage:
- A change in income or household status that directly affects eligibility for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
- Important: Quitting your Marketplace plan voluntarily mid-year doesn’t make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
You could qualify for special enrollment with other life events, such as losing your employer-sponsored health insurance, but it may require contacting your insurance plan’s customer service to discuss the matter for evaluation.
When Should I Notify Covered California?
Enrollees must report any changes to their plan and select a new one within 60 days. Once you’ve reported the changes in your life to Covered California, you’ll receive a new eligibility notice for the purpose of explaining whether you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and lower costs or not.
How Do I Enroll After a Qualifying Life Event?
For many qualifying life events, especially the more common changes, consumers can enroll online. However, they can also call a Freeway Insurance agent at 877 892 6506, who can help them obtain new coverage.
Freeway Insurance, the premier health insurance broker, is partnering with Covered California and some of the nation’s most trusted carriers to help reduce the crunch of people trying to get or change their health insurance plan following a qualifying life event. Even better – Freeway’s services to find you the best health insurance quote and guide you through the confusing sign-up process are 100% free.
How Do I Apply for Health Coverage Through Special Enrollment?
If you qualify, applying for health coverage through special enrollment isn’t much different from the open-enrollment period. You’ll choose the Covered California health insurance plan that works best for you and you’re not only covered, but you won’t have to worry about paying a penalty for not having health insurance.
Should none of these qualifying life events apply, the good news is – you may still be eligible for Medi-Cal or California’s Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM) program for pregnant women. As always, eligibility is based on your income and your application will be reviewed for coverage through Medi-Cal and AIM – no matter which life event you select.
Citizenship and residency status, typically, will decide eligibility, but these are optional plans offered by Covered California for immigrants as well.
Why not speak with a Freeway Insurance professional about special enrollment or to sign-up for the first time? And, if you’re wondering “What is Covered California” Freeway can answer that, too.
Whether you choose Freeway Insurance to assist you or go directly to Covered California – open enrollment for 2016 begins November 1, 2015 and ends on January 31, 2016.