When Can I Sign Up for ACA Health Insurance?
The Open Enrollment period to buy or update Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance for 2021 on the Health Insurance Marketplace is now closed (Open Enrollments typically last 45 days, from Nov. 1-Dec. 15 each year).
Outside of the Open Enrollment period, however, certain changes in your life, called “qualifying life events,” may allow you to sign up for ACA health insurance through the Marketplace, as part of a Special Enrollment Period.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Considerations
COVID-19 has impacted so many lives in so many ways. Despite Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance now being closed, your own recent circumstances could mean you now qualify for special enrollment, and can still get affordable health insurance for this year.
ACA plans include coverage for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. For more information:
Qualifying Life Events
These can include:
- Getting married
- Having a baby or adopting a child
- A loss of coverage — for instance, when you graduate from college, turn 26 and lose your parent’s coverage, changing or losing a job (see important COVID-19 note above), go through a divorce, or have a death in the family
- Certain changes to your income
- A change in your immigration status
- Experiencing a Marketplace error or an issue with your Medicaid qualification, or some other major complicating factor
In most cases, you have only 60 days from the qualifying life event to sign up for a new plan or change your current plan. To find out if you qualify to enroll outside of the Open Enrollment period, go to Healthcare.gov or, if you’d prefer free, local, in-person assistance in evaluating your enrollment options, use the Get Covered America form here on our own site to arrange for help in your area.
People Exempt from Open-Enrollment Requirements
- If you qualify for Medicaid, you can sign up for a Medicaid plan at any time.
- Members of federally recognized American Indian tribes (and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act shareholders) also have no limited-enrollment period, and can sign up for Marketplace coverage any time of year, and change plans up to once a month. For more information, click here.