The law requires most Americans to carry health insurance. The easiest way to get coverage is through your employer, through a family member’s coverage, through the federal health care marketplace, or through a private carrier.
Since you have to have health insurance, you need to take steps each year to review and renew your coverage. Failing to keep your coverage active means that you could face tax penalties.
Major health insurance providers operate a specific period of open enrollment each year. The federal health insurance exchange also operates on the same schedule. During this time, the public can enroll in coverage or change existing coverage.
The most recent federal open enrollment period lasted from Nov. 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2016. The federal exchange and almost every major insurance company offered open enrollment.
The 2016-2017 open enrollment is now over. Most Americans must have health insurance. However, there’s always a chance that you could lose health insurance during the coming year. Therefore, the law makes allows those who lose health insurance to still get new coverage. A person who loses coverage may qualify for a special enrollment period.
Special Coverage Periods
A person who loses coverage may qualify for a special enrollment period. In certain circumstances, individuals can get new coverage without facing any penalties.
You can qualify for a special coverage period if you experience a major life event such as:
- Losing of a job and employer benefits
- Turning 26 years old and losing coverage under a parent’s plan
- Getting married or divorced
- Moving to a new state
- Having a baby
There are other special cases that may qualify you for a special enrollment period. You usually have 60 days to enroll in a new health insurance plan. You will face no penalties if you re-enroll during that period of time. To learn if you qualify for a special enrollment period, talk to your insurance provider.
Make Sure Your Coverage Doesn’t Lapse
One way to disqualify yourself from special enrollment is to let your coverage lapse. Voluntary or negligent lapses in coverage are not grounds for special enrollment.
Always be sure that your policy is active and up-to-date:
- Pay your policy premiums on time.
- Keep proper documentation of your policy on file. Work with your insurance provider to address any coverage problems.
- Make sure that you take note of any changes or discontinuations set to affect your coverage. Your insurance provider will notify you of any changes in this area. You will have time to make policy changes.
Simpson Financial Group can get you affordable, comprehensive health insurance. Go online today to get a free health insurance quote. If you have questions about your eligibility for special enrollment, call us at (877) 727-7780.