The deadline to enroll in a marketplace plan (and avoid a penalty) under Obamacare is March 31. However, you may have other coverage now but what happens if you lose coverage before the next open enrollment beginning November 15?
Here are the rules:
Buying a Marketplace plan outside open enrollment
In order to buy a Marketplace health insurance plan outside the open enrollment period, you must have a qualifying life event. Qualifying life events that create a special enrollment period include:
🔸Having, adopting, or placement of a child
🔸Permanently moving to a new area that offers different health plan options
🔸Losing other health coverage (for example due to a job loss, divorce, loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, expiration of COBRA coverage, or a health plan being decertified). Note: Voluntarily quitting other health coverage or being terminated for not paying your premiums are not considered loss of coverage. Losing coverage that is not minimum essential coverage is also not considered loss of coverage.
🔸For people already enrolled in Marketplace coverage, having a change in income or household status that affects eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
Special enrollment periods
If you have a qualifying life event, you get a special enrollment period. This means you can enroll in or change your health insurance plan outside the open enrollment period.
Most special enrollment periods last 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event.
Open enrollment for Marketplace coverage ends March 31, 2014. The next proposed open enrollment period is November 15, 2014 – January 15, 2015.