What is a Qualifying Life Event?
The world of health insurance is quite different these days. In today’s world we have crazy phrases that are confusing to many people, like open enrollment season, qualifying life event, special enrollment period… Say what?!
So what do these terms mean? More importantly, what do they mean for you, and how can they work in your favor?
What is a Qualifying Life Event?
Let me start from the beginning. In a nutshell, the world of health insurance is different today because of the passing of a new law called the Affordable Care Act. During the months of October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014, there was a season referred to as the Open Enrollment Season. This was a period of time mandated by the U.S. Government that all eligible Americans were allowed to purchase health insurance coverage for themselves and their family.
Since March 31, 2014, (after the Open Enrollment Season), Americans are not allowed to purchase health insurance until the next Open Enrollment Season, which begins in November 2014. So, to make this understandable, there is a window of time that you are able to purchase health insurance, and there is a window of time that you cannot purchase health insurance.
So if you are thinking, crap… what do I do now? I missed my opportunity to purchase health insurance. Don’t fret. This is where qualifying life events come in.
A Qualifying Life Event is a change in your life that makes you eligible to enroll in and purchase health coverage outside of the Open Enrollment Period.
If you missed the opportunity to purchase health insurance coverage during the Open Enrollment Season, here are qualifying life events that make you eligible to purchase health insurance coverage outside of the open enrollment season:
1. Change in legal marital status.
This includes any of the following: marriage, death of spouse, divorce, legal separation, or annulment.
2. Change in the number of dependents you claim.
This includes any change in the number of dependents you will claim on your taxes. For example: the birth of a child, the death of a child, adoption, placement of a child for adoption / foster care, or a new appointment of guardianship.
3. Loss of employer-sponsored insurance.
This includes voluntary or involuntary termination of employment, or if the employer no longer offers group coverage.
4. A dependent who turns age 26.
Due to the Affordable Care Act, children are allowed to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until they turn the age of 26. Upon their 26th birthday, they are required to purchase their own health insurance plan.
5. Change in full-time employment status.
This includes a change in working conditions, such as a change between full-time and part-time employment status of the employee.
6. Return from active military duty.
If this applies to you, Welcome home, Soldier! Thank you for your honorable service!
7. Gain of immigration status or citizenship.
8. Release from incarceration.
9. Permanent move to a new state.
10. Renewal of any individual major medical plan in 2014.
If you currently have a health insurance policy that was purchased during anytime before this year, it will renew in 2014. When you get a notice of renewal in the mail, this is a qualifying event.
11. Discontinuation of a current plan that does not meet health care reform requirements.
For example, there are some older individual major medical plans that do not meet the essential health requirements of the Affordable Care Act. If you currently have a policy, but are unsure if your plan meets the requirements, call us. We would be glad to help.
If you find that you fit any of these qualifying events, you are eligible to purchase health insurance. The important thing to note is that you have 60 days from the start of your qualify event to enroll into a health insurance plan.
If you have any questions, or need help in purchasing a health insurance plan that is a perfect fit for you, contact us! That’s what we are here for!
Do you not meet any of these qualifying life events?
No worries, we have you covered there as well. A short term medical product would fit you perfectly. Contact us for more information.