How to apply & enroll

Premium payments, grace periods & termination

It’s important to pay your monthly health insurance premium in full to your insurance company — not the Health Insurance Marketplace® — by the due date.

If you miss a monthly premium payment

Your health insurance company could end your coverage if you fall behind on your monthly premiums.
But before your insurance company can end your coverage, you have a short period of time to pay called a "
grace period
The health insurance grace period is usually 90 days — if both of the following are true:
  • You have a Marketplace plan and qualify for
    advance payments of the premium tax credit
  • You’ve already paid at least one full month's premium during the
    benefit year
Note: If you don’t qualify for a premium tax credit, your grace period may be different. Contact your state Department of Insurance for information on grace periods in your state.

If you reach the end of your grace period

It's important to pay all outstanding insurance premiums during a grace period so your health insurance company doesn't end your coverage.
The 90-day health insurance grace period starts the first month you fail to pay, even if you make payments for following months. For example:
  • You don't make your premium payment for May.
  • You submit premium payments on time for June and July, but still haven’t paid for May.
  • Your grace period ends July 31 (90 days from May 1).
  • If you haven't paid your May premium by July 31, you lose coverage retroactive to the last day of May.

If your health coverage is terminated due to non-payment

If your health insurance company ends your coverage because you didn't pay all outstanding health insurance premium payments in full by the end of your grace period:
  • You have the right to appeal your health insurance company’s decision if you believe your coverage was wrongly terminated.
  • Outside Open Enrollment, you don't qualify for a
    Special Enrollment Period
    if you lose coverage due only to non-payment. (You may qualify for other reasons.)
  • If your coverage ends due to non-payment and you aren’t enrolled in Marketplace coverage in mid-December of that year, you aren't eligible to be automatically re-enrolled for the following year.
  • When you apply and are found eligible to enroll in a Marketplace plan, you may be able to enroll in the same plan you lost if it’s still available. If your health insurance company has clearly described (in paper or electronic form) the consequences of non-payment on future enrollment before your loss of coverage, they may, in order to complete your enrollment, require you to pay any past-due premium amounts you owe them for coverage in the past 12 months.
  • Whether you choose a new plan or the plan you were terminated from, you must pay your first month's premium to the insurance company to complete your enrollment.