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Special Enrollment: Circumstances Which Allow You to Change Your Health Care Benefits

April 10, 2015

Healthcare enrollment season has come and gone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your benefit choices are set in stone. There is a special enrollment period that is offered year-round. In order to participate in this special enrollment, one must undergo an eligible, major life change (i.e., having a child, marriage). This means that up to 60 days from when this life event occurs, you can change your coverage elections. Below are a few examples of life events that qualify a change in enrollment.

  • Once you turn 26, you can no longer be covered by your parent’s insurance policy. It is important to begin researching plans well before this birthday in order to be sure you do not miss the short, 60-day window.
  • A change in marital status also constitutes an eligible life change. Whether you are recently married, divorced, or widowed, you qualify for the special enrollment period.
  • If you welcomed a baby into the world this year, it’s likely that you’ll have to change or increase your healthcare coverage.
  • A change in employment allows you to also change your healthcare plan. A big decision to be made is where you enroll in an employer-based coverage plan or a marketplace plan. Since companies typically cover part or all of your premium, employer-based coverage often makes the most sense. However, be sure to shop around to see if you can find something more affordable on your own.

Be sure to review your healthcare plan each year, before the enrollment period ends on February 15th. It is important to review your plan, before you a automatically re-enrolled, to make sure it suits you and your family’s needs.