What If I Can’t Get Insurance Before Open Enrollment Closes in 2017?

This year, you have until December 15, 2017 to enroll in a new insurance plan. Once you enroll, you can expect your coverage to begin the 1st of the new year. If you are unable to get insurance before December 15, 2017, don’t panic because you may have options.

You may qualify to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period or SEP which is a time period outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period in which individuals who have had a qualifying event or circumstance in their life may sign up for health insurance coverage. If qualify for SEP, you will have up to 60 days after the qualifying event or circumstance has occurred to enroll in a plan. Qualifying life events and circumstances include:

  • Health insurance coverage loss
  • A change in household size due to a marriage, divorce, death, etc.
  • A change in your address
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen
  • Starting or ending your AmeriCorps service
  • Being released from incarceration
  • Being a member in a tribe that is now federally recognized

If you do not qualify for SEP, you should find out whether you are eligible for Medicaid as you can apply for this program at any time. To determine if you can apply for Medicaid, you should go to https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/. You may also apply for the Children’s Health Insurance Program at any time if you qualify.

In the event you do not qualify for SEP, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, you may consider applying for a short term policy to protect yourself and your family for 3 months. If you don’t purchase a short term policy, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period to enroll in a plan.

If you have missed the open enrollment deadline and would like some assistance on how to keep yourself and your family insured, you should reach out to the MAIR Agency as soon as possible.

  • Becoming a U.S. citizen, national, or lawfully-present individual
  • Being released from incarceration
  • Starting or ending your AmeriCorps service
  • Being an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
  • Being a member in a federally-recognized tribe
  • Changes that make you no longer eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

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