In general, you can have a special enrollment opportunity to sign up for private, non-group coverage during the year, other than during Open Enrollment period, if you have a qualifying life event. During the COVID-19 emergency period, you can also have an extended amount of time to sign up. Events that trigger a special enrollment period (SEP) are:
Note that some triggering events will only qualify you for a SEP in the health insurance Marketplace; they do not apply in the outside market. For example, if you gain citizenship or lawfully present status, the Marketplace must provide you with a special enrollment opportunity.
When you experience a qualifying event, your SEP will last 60 days from the date of that triggering event. If you can foresee loss of other coverage (for example, you know the date when you will graduate and lose student health coverage) you can ask the Marketplace for a SEP up to 60 days in advance so new coverage will take effect right after your old coverage runs out. However, in HealthCare.gov states, you cannot ask for an advance SEP if you anticipate coverage loss due to a permanent move.
Importantly, HealthCare.gov has extended the length of time for special enrollment periods during the COVID-19 emergency period. See the next FAQ for more information.
States have flexibility to expand special enrollment opportunities for consumers. Check with your State Marketplace for more information.