Contact a Medicare Life Coach today

TTY: 711

Monday - Friday | 8AM - 8PM (CST)

When to enroll in an individual health insurance plan.

Can you get individual health insurance at any time?

Before the Affordable Care Act, individuals who had prior health conditions were subject to higher health care insurance premiums or may not have been allowed to qualify for an individual health insurance policy at all. This resulted in a massive disparity in the health care equity of people across different income ranges. 

Fortunately, the ACA has made it easier for people to find health care coverage that offers a minimum range of essential benefits. If you need a new individual health insurance plan or you wish to update your coverage, here is what you need to know about getting an individual health insurance policy. 

When To Get Individual Health Insurance

The answer to the question of whether you can get individual health insurance at any time is complicated; in fact, the answer is actually yes and no. There are standardized open enrollment periods wherein qualified consumers are able to purchase individual health insurance for themselves or their family, but under certain circumstances consumers may also be eligible to purchase individual health coverage outside of these set periods. In order to do so, they must be eligible for a special enrollment period. 

Individual Health Insurance Special Enrollment Periods 

If you need to enroll in an individual health care plan outside of the standard enrollment periods, you will need to do so using a special enrollment period. In order to qualify for a special enrollment period, you must have qualifying life events occur around the time you hope to purchase coverage. Some events that may allow you to qualify for a special enrollment period include the following:

  • Recent marriages
  • Recent divorces
  • The recent birth of a child
  • The death of someone on your insurance policy
  • Changes in residence
  • The end of job-based coverage
  • Loss of Medicaid or Medicare coverage
  • Loss of other health coverage through a family member

What If Special Enrollment Doesn’t Apply?

Even if you are unable to qualify for a special enrollment period, you do not have to wait without coverage if you don’t want to and have the necessary funds. Although you won’t be able to purchase Affordable Care Act compliant coverage, you can still purchase short-term health insurance and discount prescription drug plans that can keep your health care needs covered while you wait for the next open enrollment period to begin. 

Find Insurance Coverage

The insurance marketplace can be incredibly complex. Get help combing through it. To get started, contact the insurance professionals at Trusted Senior Specialists to schedule a free benefits consultation.