What is a special enrollment period?

Signing up for health insurance isn’t something you can do whenever you want. When the Affordable Care Act went into effect, the time between November and January was dedicated as the only time Americans can sign up for health insurance. This time period is known as “open enrollment,” and keeps people from signing up for an insurance plan only when they get sick or injured.

However, what if you need to sign up for health insurance during other parts of the year, like when you lose employer-sponsored coverage, age out of a parent’s plan, or move to a new state? Cases like these are when “special enrollment periods” come in handy.

In this article we’ll explain in more detail what a special enrollment period is, what life events qualify you for one, and what to do once you do qualify.

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