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Can I Enroll in Health Insurance Outside of the Open Enrollment Period?

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Under Covered California rules, Open Enrollment begins on November 1 and ends on January 31 next year. During Open Enrollment, you can make changes to your existing health insurance plan, or enroll in a new plan.

In most cases, you can only make these changes during each year’s Open Enrollment period. However, in certain circumstances you can make changes throughout the year. If you’re hoping to make changes now, check to see if you situation falls under one of the following exceptions.

  • You’ve lost your health coverage, either because you lost your job, you’re not longer eligible for Medi-Cal, or some other reason.
  • Your income has changed so dramatically that you are no longer eligible for the assistance you were receiving to help pay your premiums. Conversely, if you were not eligible for assistance but your income has dropped significantly, you might now be able to receive help with your premiums. You can also reapply for assistance if your income has dropped enough that your assistance amount has changed.
  • You are turning 26 years old, and you coverage under your parents’ health insurance plan is ending.
  • You have newly moved into the state of California.
  • You have just been released from jail or prison.
  • You have just gotten married or entered into a domestic partnership.
  • Your status as a citizen, national, or lawfully present person has changed.
  • You have welcomed a new child into the family, whether by birth, adoption, or foster care.
  • You are a member of an American Indian or Alaska Native tribe.

These are the most common qualifying life events. However, some more rare situations may also make you eligible to make changes to your health insurance plan. You can view a complete list of qualifying events here, or contact Covered California to explain your situation. In some cases, a very exceptional situation may also qualify you to enroll in, or make changes to, a health insurance plan.