What is a Qualifying Life Event?

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What is a Qualifying Life Event? is a compensated post from Element Associates (EA). All opinions are my own. 

Did you know that more than half of all uninsured Americans can get covered for under $100 a month. And 4 in 5 people, who have already signed up, got help paying for their insurance.  The uninsured are exposed to significant financial risk from medical issues, accidents or emergencies. Even young and healthy individuals are at-risk. One trip to the emergency room for a broken arm or a bad ear infection could cost thousands of dollars.

Open enrollment is set to begin again in the fall, but special enrollment is ongoing.  As with other elements of the health care law, many of those eligible for coverage don’t understand all the details.


While the Health Insurance Marketplaces don’t open until November 15th, certain “qualifying life events” (like getting married, having a baby, adopting a child, moving, losing your current health insurance, losing insurance when you turn 26 if you were covered under a parent’s healthcare plan, losing insurance after graduation if you were covered under your college’s healthcare plan,  and more) could allow you to get covered now.

Many of your readers may be unaware of their health plan options, so we hope you’ll help us spread the word.

·         If you have an uninsured friend or family member, what do they need to know?

Let them know that insurance is important—and affordable. Encourage them to visit GetCoveredAmerica.org. They may qualify to enroll now if they’ve experienced a “Qualifying Life Event.” If not, tell them to mark their calendar for November 15th, 2014 — that’s when the Marketplace opens again for 2015 coverage! And let them know help is available if they have questions.

·         What is “Open Enrollment”? Why does this matter?
Open Enrollment is the period of time when you can enroll in a health insurance plan in the Marketplace and check to see if you qualify for help paying for your insurance.

More than half of all uninsured Americans can get covered for under $100 a month. And 4 in 5 people, who have already signed up, got help paying for their insurance.

Open enrollment for 2015 starts on November 15th, but certain changes in your life, called “qualifying life events,” could allow you to get covered through the health insurance marketplace now.

 ·         What are “qualifying life events”? Am I eligible to enroll now? 

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) remain available to everyone eligible throughout the year. But people can also enroll if they’ve had a “qualifying life event” — meaning they’ve gotten married or divorced, had a baby, adopted a child, placed a child up for adoption, moved residences, gained citizenship, left incarceration, graduated from college or lost their health coverage. In most cases, once such an event occurs, a person has a 60-day window to get coverage.

·         Where can I find more information about specific “qualifying life events”:

o    Getting Married: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/after-i-do/

o    Having a Baby:  https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/happy-mothers-day-to-new-moms/

o    After Divorce or Job Loss:https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/life-hands-lemons/

o    College graduation: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/congrats-grad/

·         How do you enroll? Visit GetCoveredAmerica.org to learn how to enroll in health insurance and to get answers to common questions.  The site’s content is also shareable via Facebook and Twitter atFacebook/GetCoveredAmerica and Twitter.com/GetCoveredUS.

·         What if I can’t afford health insurance? Financial help is available. In fact, over half of Americans under 35 could get covered for under $50 a month!  More than half of all uninsured Americans can get covered for under $100 a month. And 4 in 5 people, who have already signed up, got help paying for their insurance. Use the “Get Covered Calculator” to see how much help you could qualify for to cover your monthly insurance cost.  http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/calculator/  (Here’s an embeddable version of the cost estimator: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org/calculator/embed/)

·         What if I need help?  If you get stumped with your application, no worries! Local help is available.  Use our Get Covered America 101 page (http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/get-covered-101) to find answers to the most commonly asked questions, or our locator tool to find an expert who can help.  By entering your zip code, you will get the names and phone numbers of experts who can help you complete your application and understand your health insurance options. http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/locator/

Join our Twitter Chat on September 3 from 1-2pm Eastern using #TakeCareChat to learn more about Get Covered America and your options under the ACA.  This chat will be held in English and Spanish.

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