Think You Qualify for Special Enrollment? Here’s What to Do Next

Published on
March 1, 2023

The annual January 15th Open Enrollment deadline for health insurance has come and gone. If you missed it, however, don’t feel bad! There are so many reasons to lose your health coverage or miss the deadline. Luckily, there are other options out there for those who are still uninsured. If that’s the case for you, the Special Enrollment period is the first option to investigate. If you qualify for Special Enrollment, however, you have another chance to sign up for affordable, subsidized medical health insurance instead.

Getting health insurance provides financial peace of mind in case of medical emergencies. Even better, all health plans provide annual wellness visits free of charge, so you can proactively take care of yourself without breaking the bank. Figuring out if you qualify for Special Enrollment only takes a few minutes, so let’s break it down.

What is a Special Enrollment period?

There are certain circumstances that may lead to you losing your existing health insurance coverage. When a major life change leaves you uninsured, there’s a safety net: The Special Enrollment period. A Special Enrollment period gives anyone with a Qualifying Life Event an opportunity to apply for a health plan, even if the Open Enrollment period is over.

Special Enrollment periods last for 60 days following a Qualifying Life Event, so if something major happens, you have about two months to get your health insurance ducks in a row.

If you can check off one or more of the following boxes, you most likely qualify:

  • You lost health insurance coverage because you no longer qualify for state-sponsored low-income health coverage, like Medicaid, employer-sponsored coverage, coverage provided by the military, or student health coverage
  • You moved to a new zip code
  • You turned 26 and lost health coverage through your parent's plan
  • You got married, divorced, or entered a domestic partnership
  • You had a baby or adopted a child
  • You gained citizenship or lawful presence
  • Your status as a dependent has changed

There are a few other qualifying circumstances, and the best way to find out if you qualify is by filling out an application. No matter how you apply, gather important documents first, like your ID, Social Security Card, tax information, and proof of the Qualifying Life Event. You’ll need them during the application process, which should take no more than an hour.

Applying for insurance can be done within 60 days of a Qualifying Life Event, and sooner is always better. While it’s not the only way to apply, HealthBird streamlines the enrollment process so you can get coverage as quickly as possible.

The pros of checking if you qualify are endless. There’s a good chance you’ll qualify for income-based cost-share options that reduce the price of your plan. Yes, cheap (or even free!) health insurance is a real option, and it makes life so much easier. Without it, you’ll be on the hook for any surprise medical expenses. No, thank you!

As for the cons? Well, there really aren’t any. If you aren’t eligible, you can move on to other, more options, like continuing health insurance from your prior employer through COBRA. You can also look into short-term health insurance plans to hold you over until open enrollment rolls around again.

Ready to sign up for Special Enrollment? It’s easier than you think

A Special Enrollment period is a perfect opportunity to get the coverage you deserve. In some cases, you might even qualify for Medicaid. Find out your options in three easy steps.

  1. Fill out your information on HealthBird’s streamlined registration page.
  2. Review a list of curated plan options based on your income, insurance needs, and priorities
  3. Enroll, providing documentation of your Qualifying Life Event.

Applying for a Special Enrollment Period is easy with the right tools, and HealthBird is the best one around. HealthBird does all of the hard work for you, saving time at every step of the process. Try it today, or reach out for more help.

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