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Can I Purchase Health Insurance Now? – Understanding Special Enrollment



Open Enrollment 2018 has officially ended and the Special Enrollment Period has begun.  Contrary to what so many people believe, this does not mean that no Americans are able to purchase health insurance.  It simply means that those purchasing or making changes to existing health insurance plans are subject to a different set of rules that apply to the Special Enrollment Period.

The most distinguishing factor of Special Enrollment is that in order to purchase or change a health insurance plan you must have what is called a Qualifying Life Event.  This means you must have a special circumstance in your life that would qualify you to purchase or change insurance outside of Open Enrollment.  People often experience Qualifying Life Events without even realizing the opportunities presented as it relates to health insurance.


The following is a list of common Qualifying Life Events:

  • Loss of minimum coverage (through an employer, government plans, Medicaid, etc.)
  • Adding a dependent through birth, adoption or marriage
  • Gaining United States citizenship
  • Enrollment/non-enrollment errors by the federal Marketplace or the United States Department of Health and Human Services
  • Newly eligible for a subsidy or a change in the amount of subsidy for which you are eligible
  • Move to North Carolina or a new county within North Carolina
  • Other exceptional circumstances

Although this is a list of a few qualifying life events, this list is not exhaustive.  Ultimately, the only way to really determine if you are eligible to change or purchase health insurance during Special Enrollment is to complete an application.  Keep in mind that you can apply for health insurance without any obligation to purchase and the application itself will help you determine subsidy eligibility.

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance coverage, please visit our website at or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.  Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the existing regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.

All information contained herein is subject to change, from time to time, if the Federal Government or Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina implement any new updates and/or changes that can impact information provided in this blog.



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