Marketplace Enrollment Periods

Are the deadlines for Special Enrollment Periods different while the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Period is in effect?

Yes.  During the nationwide COVID-19 disaster emergency period, the time limit on marketplace special enrollment periods has been extended. 

If you experienced a qualifying event during the emergency period, your special enrollment period (SEP) to sign up for Marketplace coverage will continue until 60 days after the emergency period ends.  The COVID-19 disaster declarations took effect on January 20, 2020 and remain in effect until further notice.  Check the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) website for updates. 

If your qualifying event was loss of other coverage, you may be asked for proof of your coverage loss and, if so, you will have 30 days to submit documentation.  Meanwhile, you can continue your application for financial assistance and select a marketplace plan. But your new coverage won’t start until the Marketplace approves your documents.

If you experienced a different qualifying event during the pandemic – for example, if you had a baby since the emergency period began – you can also apply for a SEP to buy a marketplace coverage and get extended time to apply.  However, the extension won’t be granted automatically through the application. For qualifying events other than loss of other coverage, you will need to call the marketplace call center (1-800-318-2596) to ask for the extended SEP.   

Marketplace websites in other states that do not use may operate somewhat differently. 

While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.