Getting married and other qualifying life events

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Is that wedding bells we hear? There’s a lot to consider when you get married. Health insurance may not come to mind when planning your wedding. If you just tied the knot, or have other major changes in your life, you need to know a few things that could affect your health insurance.

What’s a Special Enrollment Period?

A Special Enrollment Period applies when you have a “qualifying life event” that changes your insurance status, or your insurance needs. When this happens, you can sign up for health coverage outside the Open Enrollment Period. In most cases, a Special Enrollment period gives you 60 days after a qualifying life event or loss of other health coverage. If you have a healthcare plan through your employer, your Special Enrollment Period may only be 30 days. In every case, if you have one of these events, it’s in your best interest to act fast and make sure you stay covered.

Some events that may qualify you for Special Enrollment:

  • Getting married
  • Having a baby
  • Adopting a child
  • Placing a child for adoption or foster care
  • Losing other health coverage
  • Moving to a new residence
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen, or earning other legal status in the U.S.
  • Being released from incarceration
  • You’re a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe, or an Alaska native shareholder. If you are, you can enroll in or change plans once each month at any time of year (not just during Open Enrollment).2

CAUTION: Voluntarily quitting a Marketplace plan mid-year does not qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period.1, 2

Other life changes

If you already have Marketplace coverage and something changes, it’s important to visit the Marketplace and report it as soon as possible. A change in your status may affect whether you get tax credits for your insurance premiums or whether you qualify for cost-sharing reductions. These kinds of changes include:

  • Being laid off from your job
  • Gaining a household member
  • Losing a household member
  • A significant increase or decrease in your household income3

TIP: A fast, simple way to find out if you qualify for Special Enrollment: (link opens in new window) 


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