Putting aside all the seemingly continuing problems with the new health insurance Marketplace websites, people are now wondering if they can still get health coverage beyond the government open enrollment periods. It is possible if you have a "qualifying event" that create special enrollment conditions.

Qualifying Life Events

The following events are "triggers" that may make you eligible to purchase health insurance even after enrollment periods end. According to HealthCare.gov, these events generate a "special enrollment period."

  • You get married.
  • You have a new birth or adopt a child.
  • You move to a new state offering different health insurance options than those you had previously.
  • You lose former health coverage, other than your voluntary cancellation or for non-payment of premiums.
  • You’re already enrolled, but your income changes or other life events affect your eligibility for tax credits or government assistance to pay premiums.

Special Enrollment Periods

When you have one of these events, you can enroll in a health plan for up to 60 days following the qualifying event. In 2014, open enrollment ends on March 31. After that date, you’ll need to have one of these events to enroll without penalty.

For more information, contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance, your California individual and group health insurance experts. Their professionals will answer your questions and you’ll get the advice you need to proceed.

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