Now that the 2017-2018 health insurance Open Enrollment period has ended, many have found themselves without medical coverage and scrambling for options. So what do you do if you, for whatever reason, missed the enrollment period and still need to make sure you and your loved ones are covered?
In this article we’ll take a look at Special Enrollment, a program which allows people making significant life changes to purchase health insurance after the Open Enrollment period has closed.
At the most basic level, Special Enrollment was put into place to ensure that qualified individuals and families can still buy coverage after the fixed enrollment period ends. It applies most specifically to those who have:
- Individuals and families who have recently moved
- Those who have recently married or gotten divorced
- Starting a new job or losing group health benefits
- Those who recently had a baby or adopted
- People who have started a business
- Anyone who lost coverage as a result of carrier cancellation
Will I Qualify for Special Enrollment?
After implementing some sweeping changes in 2015 to prevent people from taking advantage of the special enrollment process, the rules since then have remained relatively unchanged. Those who’ve seen changes to their marital or family status, as well as people who’ve moved, lost coverage or changed jobs are essentially automatically approved.
There are more specialized conditions that may allow someone to sign up after Open Enrollment, and a local health insurance agency can help you in determining if yours is among them.
For those who do qualify, you’ll be able to shop from the same offering of plans and coverage options as you would during open enrollment. Premiums are essentially the same, and there are no penalties or additional costs associated with Special Enrollment. If you choose to work with an agent, look for one who does not charge any additional fees for their service.
Free Assistance with 2018 Special Enrollment
At Premier, we know the healthcare system inside and out and all of our Special Enrollment signup services are free of charge. If you were not able to purchase medical insurance by the December 15th deadline and still need coverage for yourself or family, we can help.
Call Premier in Lisle at 800-369-0287 to speak with an agent, or write to us in confidence through our website’s secure contact page.