Open enrollment may be over, but health insurance agent, Michelle Bungo, explains qualifying life events that may help you stay covered
The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for health insurance typically lasts between November 1st and December 15th. This small window of time is the only opportunity to switch or find new coverage. However, due to various circumstances, many individuals find themselves needing coverage at other times in the year. Licensed health insurance agent, Michelle Bungo, explains which qualifying events will allow you to enroll outside of OEP.
There are a handful of specific life events that can make someone qualified for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Michelle Bungo notes that most qualifications require you to have had health insurance previously, although there are a few instances for exceptions. The most common qualifying life events are as follows.
Loss of Job-Based Coverage: Most people receive health insurance through their employer or their spouse’s employer. However, if the job is lost, you may qualify for SEP. Michelle Bungo notes that this option is available even when someone decides to quit their job or leave on their terms.
Turning 26: Staying on your parent’s insurance plan is an excellent option for many. However, Michelle Bungo explains that due to the Affordable Care Act, young adults are only allowed to stay on their parent’s plans until they reach 26.
Having Children: Whether you have a baby or choose to adopt, adding members to your family is considered a change in the household. Michelle Bungo notes that those who already have coverage can add dependents to their plan. Additionally, you can switch to a new plan or enroll your child in their own.
Marriage or Divorce: Once you’re married, you have the option to join your spouse’s health insurance plan. Michelle Bungo notes that you can use this time to your advantage if either of you are ready to change coverage or find a new plan. Adversely, separating also means that you are eligible for SEP if that is the reason for your loss of coverage.
Moving: If you make a permanent move to a new state, you’re automatically qualified for SEP. Michelle Bungo notes that to be qualified for SEP after moving in-state, the new region must not support your current plan, or must have plans that weren’t previously available to you.
Other qualifying life events include: losing COBRA coverage, losing eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP, or Medicare, significant changes in income, death in the family, gaining US citizenship, leaving incarceration, or gaining status as American Indian or Alaskan Native.
About Michelle Bungo:
Michelle Bungo is a licensed health insurance agent in Coral Springs, FL, with years of experience working with all major insurance carriers. Physical fitness is important to Michelle Bungo, which is why she works out regularly. You can catch her at the gym every week. When she’s not at the gym or office, Michelle Bungo spends her free time socializing with friends and neighbors or hanging out with her kids. She also has an avid love for music and frequently attends local concerts.