How to buy health insurance after open enrollment

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Even though the annual period to buy an individual health plan has passed, certain events can let you buy coverage at any time of year. These qualifying life events provide you with a special enrollment period to buy new coverage. Here are a few common scenarios that qualify.

Special enrollment period qualifying events

Turning 26: Once you turn 26, if you're on a parent's health plan, you'll need to buy your own health coverage.

Marriage, domestic partnership, or divorce: If you marry or enter into a domestic partnership, you can buy a new health plan. Divorce, annulment, or the end of a domestic partnership also qualify.

Residence change: If you move and your current plan does not cover your new area, you're eligible.

Family changes: If you recently had a baby, adopted a child, or placed a child in foster care, your child will be eligible for new coverage.

Loss of other coverage: You qualify if you lose coverage from an employer, COBRA, or Medicaid or other public program, or if your health plan was canceled.

Other events that can provide special enrollment eligibility:

  • Becoming a U.S. citizen
  • Joining a federally recognized Native American tribe
  • Leaving jail or prison
  • System errors in a health insurance marketplace
  • Income changes that affect the health coverage you qualify for
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What does not count as a qualifying life event

The following scenarios do not qualify you to buy new health coverage:

  • Voluntarily canceling coverage
  • Your plan is canceled due to non-payment

If you have questions about these life events or about changing plans, call Premera at 888-334-0109 or view our Frequently Asked Questions.

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