What Qualifies as a Life Change for the Affordable Care Act?
You may be eligible for a special enrollment period if you have a life change. This lets you purchase your private insurance outside of regular enrollment, or change your plan.
The ACA considers the following events "life changes":
- Change in family status: Divorce, marriage, having a baby, adopting a child
- Moving: Moving to a new coverage area with access to different health plans
- Change in citizenship status: Becoming a U.S. citizen or national
- Indian tribal status: Gaining tribal status
- Loss of regular coverage: Losing job-based coverage, loss through divorce, COBRA expiration, aging out of parent's plan, losing student plan after graduating college
- Domestic violence victim: If you are a victim of domestic abuse and previously could not enroll separately from your spouse
- If already enrolled in coverage through the ACA: Any change in income, profession, or household status
- Special circumstance: Extraordinary medical condition or natural disaster that prevented you from enrolling during the standard enrollment period
There may be other, more complex situations making you eligible for a life change, such as leaving incarceration. Check with the Health Insurance Marketplace to see if you qualify.
If you do qualify for a life change, you must report it. Keep reading to find out how.