The February 15th deadline for getting health insurance coverage for 2015 has come and gone. You’ve missed open enrollment. However, it is possible to get insurance through the marketplace (Covered California) outside of open enrollment during special enrollment periods.
Special enrollment periods are available to people who have major life events, such as a job change, getting married, or having a child. Just like the open enrollment period, special enrollment periods are only available for a limited amount of time. That time period is based on the event, but it is usually 30-60 days after the event occurs.
During these periods, the coverage start date is also determined based on the life event. For instance, when you enroll after having a child, your coverage can take effect the day your little one is born. When you are married, you can add your new spouse to your plan immediately after you are married, but coverage won’t take effect until the first day of the month after you enroll.
Below is a table of some common qualifying life events and the subsequent special enrollment period deadlines and coverage start dates:
|Life Event||Deadline||Coverage Start Date|
|Having a baby, adopting a child, or placing a child up for adoption.||60 days after the event||The day of the event|
|Getting married||60 days after your marriage||The first day of the month after you enroll|
|Losing other healthcare coverage, including losing a job-based plan, aging off a parent’s coverage at 26, losing coverage through divorce, losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, and similar events*||60 days before losing your coverage up to 60 days after losing your coverage||The first day of the month after you enroll and/or after other coverage ends|
|Being denied Medicaid or CHIP coverage||60 days after the denial||The first day of the month after you enroll|
*You do not qualify for a special enrollment period if you voluntary drop insurance coverage that meets the ACA’s minimum essential coverage requirements.
You can qualify for special enrollment periods for other types of life events too, such as moving outside of your plan’s service area or gaining US citizenship. If you have a life event that impacts your insurance coverage or that may allow you to get new insurance coverage, the best thing you can do is to apply for a special enrollment period. To do so, visit Covered California’s website.
Meritage Medical Network wants you to get insured and get the best care possible. We have over 700 private physicians located throughout the Marin, Napa, and Sonoma Counties. If you qualify for a special enrollment period, make sure your insurance plan covers care from Meritage Medical Network.
Once you have selected a plan, finding a new physician is easy. Use the “find a doctor” feature on our home page. We look forward to providing you with exceptional care!
If you have any questions about including Meritage Medical Network in your healthcare plan or would like to speak to someone at Meritage Medical Network directly, please call 415-884-1840 or toll-free at 800-874-0840. Our member services division can also answer your questions or concerns via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!