In most cases, you can only buy Montana health insurance coverage through the Marketplace during the annual Open Enrollment period that takes place once per year. Open Enrollment for the 2017 plan year just ended on January 31st, 2017 and will not open up again until the fall of 2017. While Open Enrollment is generally your only opportunity to enroll in a government health care plan for the first time or to change your coverage, there are a number of life events and circumstances that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. These life events, which range from getting married to gaining citizenship, allow you to secure coverage at any time during the year outside of the Open Enrollment period.
Qualifying Life Events for a Special Enrollment Period
Life events that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period include:
- Getting married.
- Having a baby, adopting a child, or gaining a new dependent.
- Placing a child up for adoption or placing a child in foster care.
- Losing your job-based health care for any reason, including leaving your job voluntarily, getting fired or laid off, or losing the option of affordable job-based health care.
- Losing coverage due to divorce.
- Losing your coverage because your COBRA coverage ended.
- Losing your coverage because you aged out of your parents’ health insurance when you turn 26 years old.
- Losing eligibility for Medicaid or Healthy Montana Kids coverage (including your child aging out of coverage).
- Permanently moving outside your plan’s coverage area.
- Moving into Montana permanently from a foreign country.
- Gaining citizenship or lawful presence in the United States.
- Gaining or continuing status as a member of an Indian tribe or an Alaska Native shareholder. Members of federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska native shareholders can sign up for or change plans throughout the year.
- Leaving incarceration (including pre-release)
If you think that you might be eligible for Montana Medicaid or your children eligible for Healthy Montana Kids, you can apply for those programs at any point throughout the year, not just during Open Enrollment. Find our more.
You May Not Qualify for a Special Enrollment Period If…
Some important life events do not qualify you to participate in a Special Enrollment Period. You may not qualify if:
- You quit your employer’s health care plan before the year ended.
- You lost your current health care plan because you did not pay your premium.
- You moved homes or residences within your current plan’s coverage area.
If your request for a Special Enrollment Period is denied, you may file an appeal.
Take the Special Enrollment Period Questionnaire
The Health Insurance Marketplace has a Special Enrollment Period Screener, where you can find out if you might qualify for a Special Enrollment Period by simply answering a few questions. Find our more about Special Enrollment Periods here. Alternatively, ask a local enrollment assister whether you may qualify.