For a brief window each year, you can enroll or make changes in your individual or employer-funded healthcare plan. But what if a life event changes your need for health insurance outside your open enrollment period?
In this case, you may qualify for a special enrollment period, an opportunity to enroll in a health plan or change your coverage. These seven qualifying events can allow you to adjust your coverage for you and your family.
7 Qualifying Events for Health Insurance Changes
Don’t miss your window of opportunity you’re on your honeymoon or reminiscing about your wedding day. Getting married qualifies you for a special enrollment period. During this time, you’ll be able to add your spouse or other dependents to an existing plan, be added to your spouse’s plan or shop for new coverage.
The Birth or Adoption of a Child
When you have a baby, adopt or gain a family member through foster care, take a moment to examine everyone’s medical needs. If your current healthcare plan doesn’t meet them, you can make adjustments. Use your special enrollment period to add your new family member or make other plan changes.
What happens if you’re currently on your spouse’s policy and you’re getting divorced? In the case of divorce, a special enrollment period opens up. You’ll no doubt have your hands full with other logistics, but be sure you make all necessary healthcare insurance changes while your window is open.
Change in Employment Status
If you leave your job or get laid off, you will likely lose your employer-sponsored health insurance. There is a silver lining to be found during this trying time: This counts as a qualifying event for health insurance and opens a special enrollment period.
Newly Graduated or Turning 26
New graduates who had student health plans and people turning 26 who are currently covered under a parent’s plan are also granted a special enrollment period. The Affordable Care Act allows children to remain on their parents’ health insurance plan up to age 26. However, once you “age off” your parents’ plan, you must obtain your own coverage during this qualifying period.
Moving doesn’t always count as a qualifying event for health insurance. However, because most insurance plans are specific to a particular geographic area, you might qualify for a special enrollment period so that you have the opportunity to obtain health coverage in your new home.
The Loss of a Loved One
Coping with the loss of a loved one is emotionally difficult and will bring many life changes. Frustratingly, some need to be addressed on the sooner side. Among the many things to consider is health insurance. If your loved one was providing your coverage, you will be able to obtain new coverage during a special enrollment period.
Here for You, Always
Knowing that you and your family have the right coverage can give you peace of mind. At any stage of life, a Farm Bureau Agent can be a resource for answers, education and the coverage you need to protect your health.