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  • Writer's pictureSara Yuen

Buying Health Insurance Outside of Open Enrollment

Finding affordable health insurance that meets all of your needs can be quite a hassle. It's open enrollment season, which means it's time to shop for health insurance! If you're like most people, you'll wait until the last minute to buy coverage. But what if you miss the open enrollment period?

Don't worry – there's a special enrollment period that will allow you to purchase health insurance outside of open enrollment. In this blog post, we'll discuss buying health insurance if the open enrollment period has passed and how to qualify for special enrollment.

affordable care act, minimum essential coverage, qualifying life event, health insurance marketplace, children's health insurance program

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Steps to Take to Get Health Coverage Outside of Open Enrollment period

Qualify for Special Enrollment

If you need to buy healthcare insurance outside of open enrollment, the first thing you'll need to do is see if you qualify for special enrollment. Special enrollment, as dictated by the affordable care act, is available to people who have had a life event that gives them access to a new health insurance plan. Some examples of qualifying life events include losing job-based coverage, getting married, or having a baby. If you have experienced one of these life events, you'll need to act fast – special enrollment periods only last for 60 days after the event occurs. These instances are considered "qualifying life events."

What to do if You do not qualify for the Special Enrollment Period

If you don't qualify for the special enrollment period, you may still be able to get health insurance through the individual market. There are two types of health insurance plans in the health insurance marketplace or the individual market: short-term insurance and major medical plans. Short-term health, sometimes called temporary health insurance, are insurance plans designed to fill in the gaps between major medical coverage, and they typically last for up to 12 months. On the other hand, major medical plans provide comprehensive coverage for a longer period of time.

How to Compare Plans for Coverage

If you're buying health insurance, you'll need to decide whether you want a short-term plan or a major medical plan. Both types of plans have their pros and cons, so it's important to compare your options before deciding. Once you've decided on the plan you want, you can start shopping around for quotes.

When you're comparing health insurance quotes, there are a few things you'll need to keep in mind. First, make sure you're comparing apples to apples – that is, make sure the plans you're comparing have the same coverage levels. Second, pay attention to the premium – this is the amount you'll need to pay each month for your health insurance coverage. Third, look at the deductible – this is the amount you'll need to pay out-of-pocket before your healthcare plan starts paying for covered expenses.

It's Time to Get Health Insurance

Once you've compared quotes and found a health insurance plan that meets your needs, it's time to enroll! You can usually do this online or over the phone, and then you'll need to pay your first monthly premium. Then, you'll be covered for the rest of the year – no matter what happens.

Thanks for reading! We hope this blog post has helped explain how to buy health insurance outside of open enrollment. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us, and we'll be happy to help.

For additional resources about how to get health coverage outside of the Open Enrollment period, check out these other TRN articles:

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