For NC residents who have missed the March 31 Open Enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act, there are still options that will allow you to receive coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace. Fortunately, you can still sign up for health insurance and avoid a penalty by applying for a Special Enrollment Period, as long as you have experienced a qualifying life event.
What is a qualifying life event, exactly? A qualifying life event involves special circumstances that may have altered your life and prevented you from meeting the deadline for Open Enrollment. The Affordable Care Act has placed stringent restrictions as to which circumstances allow you to apply for a Special Enrollment Period; however, if you do qualify, you generally have 60 days to select a health insurance plan from or outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace.
According to Healthcare.gov, qualifying life events include the following:
- Marriage, divorce or death of a spouse
- Having a baby, adopting a child, death of a child, or placing a child for adoption or foster care
- Moving, gaining citizenship or leaving incarceration
- Involuntarily losing previously held health insurance (aging off a parent’s plan, losing job-based coverage, etc.)
- Increase in income so that you are no longer eligible for Medicaid
- Starting or ending service with AmeriCorps
- Gaining status as member of an Native American tribe
Before you decide to apply for a Special Enrollment Period, we recommend learning more about receiving health insurance outside the Open Enrollment Period through the Health Insurance Marketplace website or by speaking with a professional at Independent Benefit Advisors.
For further information about qualifying life events, Special Enrollment Periods, the Health Insurance Marketplace and the Affordable Care Act, visit our FAQ page or contact Independent Benefit Advisors by calling (919) 303-9690. For almost two decades, our family-owned business has been helping individuals, families and businesses across NC find the health insurance coverage they need.
Find out why so many individuals and businesses in NC trust Independent Benefit Advisors to help them choose the right health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. We are proud to serve Apex, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Charlotte, Fuquay-Varina, Greensboro, Rocky Mount, Sanford, Wake Forest, and other North Carolina locations.