I bet you have a hundred good reasons for missing the deadline to sign up for health insurance. But, regardless of why you did not sign up, if you are without health insurance after March 31st, you missed the deadline. You will likely be facing a fine for not having coverage and, you have missed your chance to purchase an Affordable Care Plan until the next open enrollment period begins in November.
Are there any exceptions?
In order to get Affordable Care coverage or make a change in your existing coverage outside the open enrollment period, you must have a qualifying life event. Qualifying life events include:
- Getting married
- Having, adopting, or placement of a child
- Permanently moving to a new area that offers different health plan options.
- For people already enrolled in Affordable Care coverage, having a change in income or household status that affects eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions.
- Losing other health coverage due to a job loss, divorce, loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, expiration of COBRA coverage, or a health plan being decertified. Voluntarily quitting other health coverage or being terminated for not paying your premiums are not considered loss of coverage. Losing coverage that is not minimum essential coverage is also not considered loss of coverage.
Most special enrollment periods last 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event.
Enrollment for small businesses
Employers generally can start offering health insurance coverage to their employees at any time during the year.
Medicaid and CHIP: Enroll any time
You can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in your state at any time You can find out if you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP by filling out an Affordable Care application or going directly to your state Medicaid agency.
If you have a qualifying life event or are shopping for coverage for your small business, call me at 440-255-5700 to discuss your options. Let me help you choose the coverage that’s right for you.