April 1, 2014
Open enrollment on the Health Insurance Exchange ended on March 31, 2014, for most Americans. However, your personal situation may change after you have already enrolled and March 31 has come and gone. So what can you do if you want to make changes to your health insurance coverage after open enrollment?
After March 31, you can enroll in or change your long-term health insurance plan on the Exchange or on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico website, but only if you meet certain criteria. To be eligible for special enrollment, you need to have recently gone through a qualifying life event such as:
Generally, you have 60 days after the qualifying life event to enroll or change to a different plan. If you have insurance through your job, you may only have 30 days to enroll.
To get coverage outside of open enrollment you can either enroll directly through Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) or, if think you qualify for financial assistance, you can apply on the Exchange.
If you already have a plan and want to change it, you can do so on the Exchange or with BCBSNM, depending on where you first enrolled.
Depending on your income, you may qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. There is no special enrollment period for those government offered coverage options; you can apply at any time.
Members of American Indian tribes can enroll any month, not just during open enrollment. You can even apply for cost assistance.
When you sign up for or change your insurance plan during the special enrollment period, your coverage may not start right away. The date your coverage starts is based on your life event and the date you apply.
If you need temporary insurance during these gaps in coverage, you can buy short-term plans directly from BCBSNM. We offer affordable short-term plans that keep you covered while you wait for your other plan to begin.
* Please note that voluntarily canceling your health plan, having your plan canceled because you did not pay your premiums or because it did meet the requirements set forth by the Affordable Care Act is not considered loss of coverage.
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