Getting health coverage outside Open Enrollment

Getting 2016 coverage with a Special Enrollment Period

The annual Open Enrollment Period is over. You can now enroll in a 2016 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace only if you have a life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period.

Find out if you qualify

Just answer a few questions to find out if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.



When you apply you’ll also find out if you qualify for coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If you do, coverage can start the day you apply or earlier.

Changes that qualify for a Special Enrollment Period

  • If you have a baby, adopt a child, or place a child for foster care: Your coverage can start the day of the event — even if you enroll in the plan up to 60 days afterward.
  • If you get married, lose minimal essential health coverage, move to a new state, or qualify for a Special Enrollment Period another way: Pick a plan by the last day of the month and your coverage can start the first day of the next month.
Other life changes that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period:
  • Changes in your income that affect the coverage you qualify for
  • Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen
  • Leaving incarceration
  • Change of dependency status of someone on your plan
  • Death of a covered member of your household
  • Turning 26 or older and aging off your parent's plan
  • AmeriCorps members starting or ending their service

Learn more about Special Enrollment Periods for complex issues.

How to apply with a Special Enrollment Period

Answer a few quick questions to see if you’re likely to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period or for Medicaid or CHIP. We’ll tell you your next steps.

If you know you qualify or just want to start an application, visit the screener landing page and select the third button.

You can also contact the Marketplace Call Center to enroll by phone. Be sure to tell the representative you think you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. They will verify whether you do.

More answers: Getting 2016 coverage with a Special Enrollment Period

What if I’m turned down for a Special Enrollment Period but I think I qualify?

You can appeal the decision. Learn how to appeal the decision to deny you a Special Enrollment Period.

What if something outside my control prevented me from getting coverage during the Open Enrollment Period?

In a few very limited situations, you could qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Learn about Special Enrollment Periods for complex issues.

If I missed the Open Enrollment deadline and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, when can I buy a Marketplace health plan?

The Open Enrollment Period for 2017 coverage will begin in the fall. In the meantime, you can sign up for Marketplace emails to get timely reminders to help you enroll next year.