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What if you missed the Obamacare deadline?

By on March 27th, 2014
Filed: Advice

6488196987_37291ce203_zUnder the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare–if you want to enroll in a health plan outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period, you must have what’s called a qualifying event – which is sometimes also referred to as a qualifying life event.

An example of a qualifying event would be:

  1. Permanently moving to a new city or state
  2. Certain changes in your income
  3. Changes in your family due to marriage, divorce, birth of a child, or loss of a loved-one
  4. Loss of existing health coverage because of a job change or job loss
  5. Loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP,
  6. Or, expiration of your COBRA benefits

If you have a qualifying event, in most cases that triggers a 60-day Special Enrollment Period when you can change your existing coverage or apply for a new plan.

If you have a qualifying event that triggers a special enrollment period, we recommend that you have documentation of your qualifying life event with you when you apply for new coverage – whether you apply online or offline.

In some instances, documentation forms may not be necessary, but it’s better to have them in case your new insurance company needs them.

You should also be aware that you’re not likely to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you voluntarily cancel your coverage or lose it because you didn’t pay your bills.



About Nate Purpura

Nate Purpura is a 15-year veteran of print and broadcast journalism, corporate communications, PR and internet marketing. He’s spent the last decade working in the health care and insurance industries. Over fifteen years he’s covered numerous areas of health care including pharmaceuticals, health and wellness programs, chronic disease management programs, cutting-edge diagnostic tools, Medicare and health insurance, and online marketplaces (exchanges).

11 Comments Add Your Comment

alan price on Friday, March 28 @ 12:09 pm

I will be moving to Pennsylvania at the end of may do not have health insurance right now but have to get it moving to 2268 long acre dr effort pa 18330. Do you have any advice. Thank you Alan

alan price on Friday, March 28 @ 12:14 pm

Do not have health insurance right now what to get it but moving to Pennsylvania do you have any advice. Thank you alan

Nate Purpura on Friday, March 28 @ 12:28 pm

Hi Alan,

Under the ACA, a move to a new coverage area – like Philly – is a qualifying life event, which means you’ll have 60 days from the date of your move to apply for coverage.

Be aware that if you’re uninsured for more than three months this year, you may have to pay the tax penalty pro-rated for the number of months you’re uninusred.

John on Monday, March 31 @ 10:09 am

My Cobra insurance runs out in May. Do I sign up on the ACA now or wait till May?

Nate Purpura on Tuesday, April 1 @ 8:58 am

Hi John, you have 60 days from the date that your COBRA runs out to sign up for a new plan.

You can go to eHealth.com to sign up or call our uninsured hotline at 877-803-2369

Steven Thompson on Monday, March 31 @ 7:03 pm

Contact information and trying to get help about what courage’s that I can afford no assistance in helping me to find right courage

Melissa on Monday, March 31 @ 7:52 pm

My mother n law is wanting to get the ObamaCare but we don’t know how or where to start can u plz help I would help her but I would rather do it through a live person than on a computer CAN U PLZ HELP ME 4323492288

Nate Purpura on Tuesday, April 1 @ 8:57 am

Hi Melissa, call our uninsured hotline: 877-803-2369

Debbie on Monday, March 31 @ 9:44 pm

What about people that are incarcerated, do they have to get insurance now?

Nate Purpura on Tuesday, April 1 @ 8:54 am

Hi Debbie,

People in prison are not subject to the individual mandate, so the answer to your question is no.

Shannon on Tuesday, April 1 @ 9:33 am

Are those who are unemployed but receiving temporary unemployment benefits required to carry coverage?

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