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Do I qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?

You don’t always need to wait for open enrollment to sign up for health insurance. Read on to learn more.

Fill out the form below and a member of our team will be in touch soon!

There are two types of enrollment for health insurance: Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment Period. Here’s an explanation of each.

What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is the time when you can enroll in a health insurance plan. For 2021 coverage, Open Enrollment begins Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 and runs through Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. If you enroll between Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020 and Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, your health coverage will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021. If you enroll between Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 and Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 for coverage starting Feb. 1, 2021.

What happens if I miss Open Enrollment?

If you’re looking for health coverage and Open Enrollment is closed, you’ll have to wait for the next Open Enrollment period. However, people who have had certain life changes may be eligible for health coverage through a Special Enrollment Period. 

Those who have had a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) can enroll for health insurance through a Special Enrollment Period before or after open enrollment. See if you qualify.

What is the COVID-19 SEP?

  • Pennie has opened a Special Election Period from Feb. 15, 2021, to Aug. 15, 2021, due to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • During this period, if you’re a new or current enrollee, you’re eligible to purchase coverage or switch plans — even if you already enrolled during the most recent Open Enrollment Period. 
  • Need help enrolling or just want to talk through your options? Our team can help. Call us at 800-918-5154 or fill out the form above to have a member of our team reach out to you.

What is a Special Enrollment Period?

To enroll in a health insurance plan during a Special Enrollment Period, you must have had a QLE — and you must document it within 30 days. You have 60 days from the qualifying event to enroll, so be sure to move quickly and shop now

If you’re not sure if you qualify, call us at 800-223-1282. We can help.

What are Qualifying Life Events?

If you’ve experienced any of these Qualifying Life Events in the past 60 days, you’re eligible to enroll in a health plan during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP): 

Changes in household size

  • Got married
  • Had a baby
  • Gained/became a dependent
  • Got divorced or legally separated and lost health insurance
  • Death

Changes in residence or income

  • Change in your primary place of living
  • Had a change in income

Change in status

  • Denied Medicaid/CHIP
  • Gained citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S.
  • Released from incarceration (detention, jail or prison)

More qualifiers 

  • Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
  • Starting or ending service as an AmeriCorps State and National, VISTA, or NCCC member
  • You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you or anyone in your household newly gained access to an individual coverage HRA or a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) in the past 60 days OR expects to in the next 60 days.
    • Note: Your employer may refer to an individual coverage HRA by a different name, like the acronym “ICHRA.”

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