Medicare Education

Special enrollment for qualifying events

When can I buy insurance?

You can still buy health insurance if you have a life-changing event. Certain events, including losing job-based coverage, moving, getting married, and having a baby all make you eligible for a special enrollment period. Otherwise, almost all  can buy health insurance during the Open Enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1, 2021.

When you can sign up

Additional Information

Persons who experience a Qualifying Life Change Event, during or outside of the Open Enrollment Period, have a 60-day window to buy or change plans. This is known as a Special Enrollment Period.

If you miss your Special Enrollment Period window, you may have to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period to apply.

You can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time of year, whether you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period or not.


Family additions or changes

Birth of a baby, adoption of a child or placement of a child for foster care.

Getting married or divorced.

Death of a household member enrolled in a plan through the Marketplace.

Loss of health insurance coverage

You lost of job-based coverage.

You no longer qualify for (Medicaid program). 

You no longer qualify for Medicare Part A.

You are turning 26 and aging off your parent’s plan.

Your student health plan ended.

Move or change in permanent residence

Move to a new permanent address- certain conditions apply. 

Leaving incarceration.

Gain of lawful presence (i.e. legally living in the United States according to federal immigration laws).

Changes to income (for current enrollees only)

Changes in your income that affect the amount of Cost-Sharing Reductions (lower out-of-pocket costs) you qualify for.

Changes in your income that make you newly qualify for Premium Tax Credit (lower monthly costs).

Changes in your income that make you no longer qualify for the Premium Tax Credit (lower monthly costs).

Proof of your Qualifying Life Change Event

After you sign up for a plan during your Special Enrollment period, your health insurance company may ask you to show proof of the Qualifying Life Change Event.

Special Enrollment for members of federally-recognized tribes

Members of federally-recognized tribes (and their household members on the same application) can change plans or sign up for a new plan once per month.

Report changes in your household

Report changes in your household size, income, or address within 30 days of the change. We will let you know if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period as soon as you submit your application.