Under the Affordable Care Act, it will be impossible to apply for a traditional/compliant individual health insurance policy outside of the open enrollment period each year. This is true both on the government exchange/marketplace, and in private exchanges.
There are exceptions. Those with a major life event (sometimes called a “qualifying event”) qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. These include:
- Losing minimum essential health coverage – i.e. losing your job and your employer-sponsored plan.
- Getting married.
- Getting divorced.
- Having a child (birth or adoption).
- Relocating – i.e. if you move to a new state.
- Losing COBRA eligibility and coverage.
- Your health insurance plan is decertified by the government.
If you have a qualifying event, you will be given a special enrollment window in which you can enroll in an individual health insurance policy. This will typically be 60 days from the date of the event.
If you have had a qualifying event, contact AC Forrest and we will help you find a compliant health plan for you and your family before it’s too late.
If you have missed the deadline and do not have a health insurance policy, there are alternatives you can consider, including a short-term health insurance plan, which will provide a good safety net at a very reasonable price (cheaper than a traditional health insurance plan).
As always, we invite you to contact us with questions that are specific to your situation.