Work projects, bills to be paid, and really good retail sales. What do they all have in common? Deadlines.
And the timeframe allowed to enroll in your annual health care plan is no exception.
As of today, the marketplace is open and enrollments for 2017 coverage are underway. But, what happens if you miss the deadline to enroll or an event later in the year affects your existing plan?
The time outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period is a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
Individuals who enroll after open enrollment closes must experience a qualifying life event to be eligible for an SEP or wait until next open enrollment and pay a penalty for non-coverage (fees unchanged from 2016).
So what is considered a qualifying life event?
- Losing health coverage
- Moving to a new zip code
- Getting married
- Having a baby
- Adopting a child
- Divorce or legal separation
For a complete list of qualifying events, visit healthcare.gov.
If you qualify for an SEP, you have 60 days following the event to enroll in a new plan. Otherwise, the final deadline to enroll in a 2017 healthcare plan is January 31.
For more information and a timeline of the important dates and deadlines, click here.