If you need insurance outside of the open enrollment period that ended January 31, 2016, you can still buy health insurance if you experience certain qualifying life events. When these life events occur, you enter a special enrollment period.

Here’s a list of life events that qualify you for a special enrollment period:

  • Losing your health coverage through a life event
    • Examples of these life events include: getting a divorce, losing your job, losing your Medicaid or CHIP eligibility, your current plan being decertified or expiring COBRA coverage
    • Please note: If you voluntarily quit your health plan or are terminated because you didn’t pay your premiums, you are not eligible for a special enrollment period.
  • Getting married
  • Having or adopting a child, or placing a child for adoption
  • Permanently moving somewhere with different health insurance options
  • Graduating and losing your college health plan
  • Experiencing an enrollment error
  • Having a change in income or household status that changes your eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
  • Your plan or issuer substantially violating a material provision of the contract you’re enrolled under

Special enrollment periods typically last for 60 days after the date of your qualifying event. During this time, you can shop for health insurance on a private or public exchange. You’ll have the same plan options as you would during open enrollment, like copay plans, Health Savings Account (HSA)-compatible plans and a Young Adult Essential plan. You may also have choices for dental plans, vision plans and short-term insurance.

Be sure to purchase coverage during your special enrollment period. If you miss that period, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period. However, you can buy a short-term health plan to cover yourself until then.

Please note: you can purchase dental and vision coverage at any time (including outside of the open enrollment period), even if you don't experience a qualifying life event.

If you need more information, help understanding special enrollment periods or help choosing a health plan that’s best for you, talk to one of our health insurance experts by calling 866.488.3266. They are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. ET and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. You can also buy a Medical Mutual health plan online.