Life Happens

You may have a chance to update your health insurance when it does.

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Qualifying Events

Missed Open Enrollment? You May Be Eligible for a Special Enrollment

Been thrown for a loop? Navigating life's changes, both good and bad, can be complicated. It's easy to feel overwhelmed. We get it. We've been there, too.

The good news? Certain changes in your life may trigger a special enrollment period when you can make changes to your health insurance coverage outside of the open enrollment period.

Your Window of Opportunity

If you've experienced a qualifying event, such as a job loss, moving to a new state or turning 26, you have a short window of opportunity (60 days), known as a special enrollment period, to make changes to your health insurance. If you miss this opportunity, you may have to wait up to 10 months for the next open enrollment period.

Life Looking Different These Days?

There’s no doubt about it, change can be hard. Really hard. Even positive changes can take energy and time to navigate.

If you’ve experienced a major personal life event that resulted in the loss of, or made you newly eligible for, minimum essential coverage, you could be eligible to change your health insurance during special enrollment.

A Change of Address

Moving out-of-state or out of your existing coverage area creates an opportunity for you to re-assess and choose a new health insurance plan.

Does my move qualify me for special enrollment?

If your move falls into one of these categories, a change of address is a qualifying event that opens up a short special enrollment period when you can select a new individual health insurance plan.

  • Moving to an area where your existing coverage isn’t available.
  • Permanently moving to a different state.

When should I get new health insurance?

It’s easy for replacing your health insurance coverage to get lost in the chaos of moving. Don’t let that happen! You only have 60 days from the date you move, to apply for new coverage.

Start with a quick, online quote or a short call to one of our friendly Product Advisors at 1-800-273-8115. We can help you find new coverage in next to no time.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Turning 26

You’re turning 26 and rolling off your parents’ health insurance plan. Now’s your chance to get a plan that meets your own needs and budget.

What do I do if I don't know a thing about health insurance?

Health insurance might feel like a whole new world to you. Sure you might know a thing or two, but you could still use some help. No worries. We’ll break it down for you. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. You can check out all of the resources on this website to learn about health insurance.
  2. You can browse the product information on this website to shop for health plans.
  3. Or, in no time at all, you can get a free, online quote.

How do I find the right plan?

1. Determine what type of plan you want

  • Compare new plans to what you’ve had before.
  • Check out the scope of benefits offered.
  • Determine what benefits you like and what you don’t.

2. Look for coverage that meets your health care needs

  • Do you visit the doctor’s office or hospital often?
  • What are your dental or vision needs?
  • Are there any medications you take regularly?
  • What current or upcoming health needs do you have?

3. Figure out your health care budget

  • Get a plan with a deductible you are comfortable paying.
  • Choose a monthly premium that fits your budget.

4. Know the cost benefits of in-network care

  • Look at your provider’s network options.
  • Make sure your health plan covers the providers you need.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Getting Married

Getting married opens up a special enrollment period when you have an opportunity as a couple to update or select new health insurance.

Why should we update our health insurance plans?

Now, we know health insurance isn’t exactly the most thrilling topic for newlyweds, but it’s important. You’ve just created a new family, and your family has unique needs and goals. Your health insurance plan should reflect those. That’s the beauty of individual, or private, health insurance – you make it your own. Take a moment to sit down together and look over our selection of health insurance plans.

A newlyweds guide to health insurance

Getting married is all about joining things together — lives, bank accounts, furnishings, families and even health insurance. As a new couple starting out, it’s important to be on the same page. We’ll walk you through key areas to discuss while choosing your new health insurance.

Medical History

In sickness and in health, right? Part of being married means keeping each other as healthy as possible. Make sure you’re both up-to-date on each other’s medical history, so you can encourage each other to invest in the right care. Check out our Healthiest You health and wellness program (not insurance).

Budget

Make sure to include health insurance in your new family budget. How much are you comfortable spending on monthly premiums? What has your health care spending been in the past? Does it make more financial sense for you to be covered under one of your employer-sponsored plans or under an individual family plan?

Frequency of Doctor Visits

Talking about how often you see health care providers helps you decide on the right insurance plan. For example, people who visit their health care providers regularly might want to especially consider Copay plans.

Family planning

Maybe you’re thinking about growing your family. Or maybe not. However, getting married is often an important time to think ahead toward any prenatal/maternity benefits you might need later. Maternity and newborn coverage is a part of the essential benefits in all qualified plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Medications

Now is a good opportunity to discuss what medications you each take regularly and how much coverage you’ll need. Some plans have set amounts, or copays, and others are less structured. Prescription drug coverage can look quite different from plan to plan.

Preferred Doctors

Do you and your spouse have current providers you want to keep? Or maybe you don’t mind switching around. Everyone feels differently, so make sure to have this discussion. You’ll want to find a health insurance plan with a provider network you’re both comfortable with.


Learn more about this qualifying event...

Adding a Child to the Family

Adding a child to your family can mean big changes. To include your new bundle of joy, your health insurance coverage needs to change, too.


Can I add my new child to my health insurance plan?

Whether you just had a baby, adopted or added a foster child, your family is growing. From choosing a pediatrician to lining up childcare or school options, you want only the best for your child.

Adding a child to the family brings great joy and lots of adjustments. Fortunately, it's also a qualifying event that makes you eligible for a special enrollment period. So, finding the right health insurance plan can be at the top of your to-do list.


How do I pick a pediatrician?

If you have not done so already, you’ll want to find the right pediatrician within your network. You can use these pointers to make your decision easier.

  1. How close do you live to the pediatrician’s office?
  2. Finding a pediatrician close to home comes in handy. Driving long distances with sick kids is no fun for anyone involved.

  3. What’s the doctor’s office like?
  4. Stop by and take a look around. Is the waiting room clean and welcoming? Are the staff members friendly and helpful? Do patients look frustrated with long wait times?

  5. What are the office hours and after-hours polices?
  6. Little ones can need medical attention at all hours of the day or night. Find out when the office is open and how they handle after-hours needs.

  7. Is the doctor a solo practitioner or part of a group practice?
  8. Is it easy to get an appointment with your doctor when you need it? What happens if he/she is unavailable? Find out who else your child might see for medical care.

  9. Ask around. Check your network.
  10. Find out which pediatricians your own doctor recommends. Ask your friends and family who they take their kids to. Look for online reviews as well. Check your network for recommended pediatricians.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Divorce

Divorce is a life-changing event that can mean getting health insurance for your new family structure, health care needs and budget.

What is my next step?

You may not be focused on your health insurance coverage right now. We get that. But here’s something you should know: Divorce is a qualifying event (for the spouse losing coverage) that opens up a special enrollment period when you can purchase your own health insurance plan.

So, if your health insurance needs and budget are changing due to divorce, you have a golden opportunity to purchase new coverage or make adjustments to your existing coverage in order to accommodate your reconfigured family.

Finding the right individual health plan that meets your new needs and budget is a great way to gain a renewed sense of independence and move forward with your life.

How do I find the right plan?

1. Determine what type of plan you want

  • Compare new plans to what you’ve had before.
  • Check out the scope of benefits offered.
  • Determine what benefits you like and what you don’t.

2. Look for coverage that meets your health care needs

  • Do you visit the doctor’s office or hospital often?
  • What are your dental or vision needs?
  • Are there any medications you take regularly?
  • What current or upcoming health needs do you have?

3. Figure out your health care budget

  • Get a plan with a deductible you are comfortable paying.
  • Choose a monthly premium that fits your budget.

4. Know the cost benefits of in-network care

  • Look at your provider’s network options.
  • Make sure your health plan covers the providers you need.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Retiring Spouse

Spouse retiring, but not you? Choosing your own individual short- or long-term health plan can get you through this pre-Medicare coverage gap.

What is pre-Medicare coverage?

Now that your spouse can rely on Medicare for health coverage, you might feel left behind. But having your very own health plan has its perks: You can find one that meets your personal health needs and timeline.

Just need something temporary until you’re Medicare eligible? Check out our Short Term health insurance plans.1

If you’re interested in longer term coverage, a different type of health plan may be more appropriate for your personal needs and retirement budget. It may be the perfect time to make a change from the kind of plan you’ve had before. Take a look at the three types of individual health insurance plans we offer.





What are our additional coverage options?

You and your spouse may also want to consider some additional coverage options together, such as Dental Insurance, which Medicare typically doesn’t cover, or Travel insurance as you begin to enjoy retirement living.


Learn more about this qualifying event...

Loss of a Loved One

Losing a loved one is a life-shattering event that makes finding a new health insurance plan a necessity. We’re here to help make that easier.

What is my next step?

One Step at a Time

If you lose health coverage due to the death of a loved one, you have 60 days (a special enrollment period) from the time you lost coverage to find a new health insurance plan. While you’re likely overwhelmed right now, it’s easier to take care of getting new health coverage than you might think.

You can get a quick online quote or speak personally with of one of our Product Advisors at 1-800-273-8115.

Special Enrollment Period Last 60 Days

How do I find the right plan?

1. Determine what type of plan you want

  • Compare new plans to what you’ve had before.
  • Check out the scope of benefits offered.
  • Determine what benefits you like and what you don’t.

2. Look for coverage that meets your health care needs

  • Do you visit the doctor’s office or hospital often?
  • What are your dental or vision needs?
  • Are there any medications you take regularly?
  • What current or upcoming health needs do you have?

3. Figure out your health care budget

  • Get a plan with a deductible you are comfortable paying.
  • Choose a monthly premium that fits your budget.

4. Know the cost benefits of in-network care

  • Look at your provider’s network options.
  • Make sure your health plan covers the providers you need
Learn more about this qualifying event...

Insurer Changing Coverage

When a carrier cancels your health insurance plan, you can pick another plan during a special enrollment.

What do I do now?

Know that you have choices. Plan cancellations are a reality. The good news is that most plans are changing for the better. 

Due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), coverage has expanded to include essential health benefits like preventive care, mental health services, maternity benefits and much more. Now that your old plan is no longer an option, we’re here to help you find something that suits your current needs.


Tempted to go without health insurance?

You might not be a huge fan of health insurance companies right now. We get that, but going without insurance just doesn’t make sense. You’d be taking a risk with your health and finances. 

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Going through Changes at Work?

Work-related transitions might have you feeling uneasy or even frustrated. It's time to take control. You may be eligible for special enrollment if you lose your health insurance coverage due to one of these job-related events:

Job and Coverage Loss

Losing a job involuntarily or voluntarily means changes to your health coverage – changes that can put you in charge of your health insurance.

What can I do if I get laid off or fired?

Getting let go hurts. You would probably rather just forget about it and move on. However, losing your job can be a real opportunity.

Involuntary loss of coverage is a qualifying life event that opens a special enrollment period. Now you can buy your own individual health insurance plan that:

  • May be less expensive than your former group plan
  • Stays with you regardless of your employment status.

However, the clock is ticking! You have 60 days from the date you involuntarily lost coverage to apply for an individual health insurance plan.2 Explore our wide variety of plans.

What can I do if I resign, quit or retire?

You’ve resigned, quit or retired early and now you’re wondering what’s next. You might be looking at new jobs, a completely new career path, and you’re not yet eligible for Medicare. There’s much to think about.

However, a voluntary loss of coverage is not a qualifying life event and makes you ineligible for special enrollment.2 Not to worry! We can help you get through your coverage gap until the next open enrollment period. Explore our Short Term plans.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Starting a New Job

A new job can mean you’ve got health insurance options: buying an individual plan you control or a Short Term plan to fill a coverage gap.

Temporarily without health insurance?

Let’s say your employer offers group health insurance. Just not yet. Many employers require a waiting period before starting coverage.

Our Short Term plans can give you the security you need to fill your temporary health insurance gap.3 These plans can be canceled, without any penalty, whenever you like.

View your Short Term plan options now.

No employer coverage?

Employers are increasingly dropping group employee health insurance coverage as a benefit. Some are offering stipends for you to buy your own individual health insurance, others are not. But, the good news is that you have more options than ever before for finding the right coverage for you.

If you’ve participated in group plans before, you know that your employer calls the shots when it comes to your coverage. With individual health insurance, you get to choose what’s right for you.

View the full range of your Health Insurance plan options now.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Losing COBRA Benefits

COBRA expiring? Don’t worry! You can find individual health insurance that fits your life and your budget during a special enrollment period.

What are my options after COBRA expires?

Is your COBRA coverage about to expire? After months of not worrying about health insurance, do you know what to do next?

Here’s the good news: Rolling off of COBRA coverage is a qualifying event that opens a special enrollment period for you to purchase your own health coverage. And you’ll have more options, flexibility and control of your health plan outside of COBRA with an individual health insurance plan.

So now you get to call the shots, and we can guide you along the way. As part of the nation’s largest health insurance company,4 we have plans of all shapes and sizes. We’ll help you find a plan that provides the health care you need within your budget.

How do I find the right plan?

1. Determine what type of plan you want

  • Compare new plans to what you’ve had before.
  • Check out the scope of benefits offered.
  • Determine what benefits you like and what you don’t.

2. Look for coverage that meets your health care needs

  • Do you visit the doctor’s office or hospital often?
  • What are your dental or vision needs?
  • Are there any medications you take regularly?
  • What current or upcoming health needs do you have?

3. Figure out your health care budget

  • Get a plan with a deductible you are comfortable paying.
  • Choose a monthly premium that fits your budget.

4. Know the cost benefits of in-network care

  • Look at your provider’s network options.
  • Make sure your health plan covers the providers you need.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Disqualified from Medicaid

If you're no longer eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to get your own short term or ACA health plan during special enrollment.


Shore up a temporary situation

Just because your income is low today doesn’t mean it always will be. You can take advantage of a temporary Short Term plan that can last from 1 to 11 months.5 You can drop your coverage anytime, whenever your situation changes.

Short Term plans make most sense for people:

Waiting for benefits to begin

Waiting for benefits to begin at a new job

Coverage for in between jobs

In between jobs

Temporary alternative to COBRA Insurance

Needing a temporary alternative to COBRA insurance


Cover your needs for the long haul

Our insurance plan portfolio offers you a broad range of coverage, plan types, deductibles and supplements – each with its own particular advantages. Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive and personal health plan choices that fit your needs and budget.

The advantages of your own health plan

  • Fitted – You can select a plan that’s a good fit for your specific health concerns or tight budget.
  • Portable – You can base your job decisions on your career goals, not the benefits offered.
  • Stable – If your job changes, you keep your plan and any deductible you’ve paid.

Thinking strategically, take a look at all of our plan options now.


Learn more about this qualifying event...

Losing Union Coverage

Losing union coverage triggers a special enrollment period when you can find individual health insurance that fits your life and budget.

What options do I have if we're on strike or lockout?

Strike and lockout situations can be difficult to handle. There’s usually plenty of confusion and frustration to go around. Amidst the strain of it all, you may have lost your health insurance due to these changes at work.6

No need to worry. Losing group health coverage is a qualifying event that triggers a special enrollment period when you can find a private, individual health insurance plan that fits your needs and budget.

We know that times are tough and that’s why we have plan options for budgets big and small. Even if you’re eligible to receive COBRA benefits, we can help you weigh all of your options from long-term to Short Term plans.

What are my options if I leave a union?

Let’s say though, that you’ve decided to walk away from a union for good. Leaving a union, for any reason, brings with it some uncertainty. You may have had close relationships there and a variety of benefits including health insurance.

No need to worry if you lost health coverage. You can now find insurance on your own. Losing group health coverage from your employer or union is a qualifying event that opens a special enrollment window when you can find an individual health insurance plan.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Returning from Military Service

Losing your health coverage after returning from the military opens a special enrollment period when you can pick your own health insurance plan.

What are my civilian insurance plan options?

Good news: If you lost your health coverage after returning from military service, this qualifying event opens a special enrollment period for you. In an effort to make your transition into post-military life smoother, let us help you find a health insurance plan that gives you the coverage you need.

How do I find the right plan?

1. Determine what type of plan you want

  • Compare new plans to what you’ve had before.
  • Check out the scope of benefits offered.
  • Determine what benefits you like and what you don’t.

2. Look for coverage that meets your health care needs

  • Do you visit the doctor’s office or hospital often?
  • What are your dental or vision needs?
  • Are there any medications you take regularly?
  • What current or upcoming health needs do you have?

3. Figure out your health care budget

  • Get a plan with a deductible you are comfortable paying.
  • Choose a monthly premium that fits your budget.

4. Know the cost benefits of in-network care

  • Look at your provider’s network options.
  • Make sure your health plan covers the providers you need.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

Starting an Unpaid Leave

Starting an unpaid leave opens a special enrollment window when you can buy short or long term individual health insurance.

What are my next steps?

A leave of absence means a time of transition and change. You’re likely dealing with a lot. On top of it all, depending on the type of leave, FMLA or otherwise, you may also find yourself looking for new health insurance.7

The good news: Starting an unpaid leave of absence is a qualifying event that opens a special enrollment (60 days from the day you lose your group coverage) window when you can buy your own individual health insurance.

We realize that dealing with health insurance right now may feel overwhelming. It’s our job to make it easy for you to find a plan that meets your needs and your budget. With our helpful online tools and licensed Product Advisors, we can help you find a plan that meets your specific needs.

How do I find the right plan?

1. Determine what type of plan you want

  • Compare new plans to what you’ve had before.
  • Check out the scope of benefits offered.
  • Determine what benefits you like and what you don’t.

2. Look for coverage that meets your health care needs

  • Do you visit the doctor’s office or hospital often?
  • What are your dental or vision needs?
  • Are there any medications you take regularly?
  • What current or upcoming health needs do you have?

3. Figure out your health care budget

  • Get a plan with a deductible you are comfortable paying.
  • Choose a monthly premium that fits your budget.

4. Know the cost benefits of in-network care

  • Look at your provider’s network options.
  • Make sure your health plan covers the providers you need.

Learn more about this qualifying event...

What Are Qualifying Events?

Many people only re-evaluate their insurance needs once a year during the open enrollment period designated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But what if your circumstances change sometime during the year?

Certain life events – known as "qualifying events" – can qualify you for a special enrollment period. Allowing for some overlap, there are basically two kinds of qualifying events: Personal and Job-related.

Always Double-check!

If you don't see your personal situation listed here, you may still qualify. Talk to one of our Personal Advisors at 1-800-273-8115.

1 Short term health insurance does not meet minimum essential coverage requirements, meaning signing up for this coverage may result in a tax penalty. Plans are subject to health underwriting, and do not cover preexisting conditions.

2 You may be eligible for COBRA. Check with your previous employer to review your options.

4 UnitedHealthcare is one of the operating businesses of UnitedHealth Group, which is ranked #17 in the Fortune 500 annual index of America’s largest corporations.

5 Length available varies by state. For costs, benefits, exclusions, limitations, eligibility, and renewal terms, call a licensed Product Advisor to discuss your health insurance options at 1-800-273-8115.

6 Your employment contract may require your employer to keep your benefits, or you may be eligible for COBRA. Check with your employer.

7 FMLA requires your employer to keep your benefits. Other types of leave may qualify you for COBRA. Check with your employer.

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