Open Enrollment for 2018 ended on December 15th, 2017.  In most cases, you need to wait until the next Open Enrollment period starts on November 1, 2018 to apply for another ACA plan.  However, even after Open Enrollment has ended, there are some ways to still get health insurance coverage.

These are:

  • Through a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event
  • Through a short term medical plan
  • Through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Through a government compliant medsharing plan.

Note that you can also purchase supplemental insurance such as dental, vision, critical illness or accident policies at anytime.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

A special enrollment period occurs when someone experiences a qualifying life event.

Qualifying events for health insurance special enrollment include:

  • Losing your health coverage through a life event
    • Examples of these life events include: getting a divorce, losing your job, losing your Medicaid or CHIP eligibility, or expiring COBRA coverage
    • Please note: If you voluntarily quit your health plan or are terminated because you didn’t pay your premiums, you are not eligible for a special enrollment period.
  • Marriage
  • Having or adopting a child
  • Permanently moving somewhere with different health insurance options
  • Ageing off your parent’s health insurance plan.
  • Having a change in income or household status that changes your eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
  • Your plan being involuntarily canceled by your insurance company.

The special enrollment period usually lasts for 60 days, so be sure to purchase your coverage during that time.

Short Term Medical Plans

If you missed the open enrollment period and do not have a special enrollment, you might consider a short term health plan.

Here are some things to know about short term health plans:

  • They do not meet ACA’s requirements for minimum essential coverage, so they do not exempt you from the tax penalty
  • They are not guaranteed issue, so you might be turned down
  • Premiums can be based on your medical past and do not commonly cover pre-existing conditions
  • Short term plans are limited to 3 months per regulations
  • They are not available in every state


American Health Plans has partnered with a company that offers excellent medsharing programs. These plans operate very similar to traditional health insurance except the premiums are put into an escrow account and claims are paid less the Members Shared Responsibility Amount. Preventative care, doctor visits, prescription discounts and more are all included in our medhsaring plans.

Some of the benefits of Medsharing plans are:

  • They can be purchased year round.
  • They are government compliant, which means they exempt you from the tax penalty.
  • Guaranteed Issue
  • PPO Network
  • Monthly premiums are much lower because of the way they structure their plans

If you are interested in learning more about any of these options for health insurance outside of open enrollment, please contacts one of our licensed agents toll free at 866-487-9887.

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