You can sign up for health insurance during open enrollment, or during a Special Enrollment Period (or SEP for short):
1. During Open Enrollment:
The annual open enrollment period for health insurance coverage runs from:
- November 1 through December 15, for January 1st coverage;
- December 16 through January 16 for February 1st coverage.
2. During a Special Enrollment Period:
If you miss the open enrollment period, don't worry! You may still be eligible to enroll in a plan during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) after experiencing a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). You typically have 60 days from the date of your qualifying life event to enroll or change plans.
These are certain life events that allow you to enroll in a plan outside of the annual Open Enrollment period. These events are called "qualifying life events" (QLEs) for short. Qualifying life events can include life changes like losing job-based insurance, moving, income changes, getting married or divorced, or welcoming a new child. To sum it up in health insurance terms, if you experience a qualifying life event (QLE), you may qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP) and sign up for a plan outside of the annual Open Enrollment period.