How to get health insurance if you missed open enrollment

Monday, February 29, 2016

From the office of the Insurance Commissioner

If you missed open enrollment and didn't sign up for health insurance by Jan. 31, 2016, you may have to wait until next year's open enrollment period, unless you have a life event that makes you eligible for a special enrollment or you qualify for Apple Health (Medicaid).

Such events include, but are not limited to:

  • Losing health insurance, including an employer plan or individual health plan 
  • Losing Apple Health (Medicaid) because you no longer qualify 
  • Giving birth to or adopting a child 
  • Permanently moving to a new area where your current plan doesn't provide coverage 
  • Your employer not paying your COBRA premiums on time 
  • Your COBRA coverage ending or reaching the lifetime limit 
  • Your dependent turning age 26 and losing their coverage on your employer plan 
  • Getting married or entering into a domestic partnership 
  • Getting divorced or ending a domestic partnership 
  • Cancelling your Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP) coverage 
  • Your health plan no longer being offered for sale in Washington state 
  • Most special enrollment periods are limited to 60 days from the qualifying event. 

Keep in mind that you do won't qualify for special enrollment if you voluntarily cancel your health insurance or if your insurer cancels you because you didn't pay your premium.

Next year's open enrollment for individual and family coverage starts Nov. 1, 2016.


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