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Help! I Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline!

happy familyOpen Enrollment, the period during which you could purchase or make changes to your health insurance plan, ended on March 31. Since enrollment will not reopen until November 15, you may be feeling quite anxious. If you’re wondering whether there’s any way you can still purchase a plan or make changes to your existing plan, read on to learn about common exceptions to the rule.

In some cases, you can make changes to your existing health insurance policy, due to Qualifying Life Events. If you get married, get divorced, or welcome a new child into your home (either through biological childbirth or adoption), you can make the necessary changes to your insurance plan.

Moving to a new state will also necessitate a change in your policy; if you’ve just moved to California you can still apply. If you leave the state, you will apply for health insurance through that state’s insurance exchange, or through the federal exchange if that state has elected to use it.

A change in your income or family size, which impacts your eligibility for tax credits to cover the cost of health insurance premiums, will qualify you to make the appropriate changes to your plan.

Under very special circumstances, you may have been prevented from applying for health insurance during the open enrollment period. If you think this rule might apply to you, contact the Covered California hotline or speak to a qualified insurance broker about your situation.

The rules for employer-based health insurance are a bit different from those for individual insurance policies. At any time during the calendar year, a business may elect to purchase a group policy for its employees. If you run a small business and you’ve decided to provide health insurance to your workers, don’t worry about the Open Enrollment period. Talk to an insurance broker now to get started.