Special Enrollment Period

If you go through a qualifying life event, or a life change like losing your Medicaid coverage, getting married, having or adopting a baby or starting a new job, you may be able to enroll in a health plan during the Special Enrollment Period. Special Enrollment takes place when the Open Enrollment Period ends each year and continues until it begins again in November.

Your Plan Options

During Special Enrollment, you can choose a new Individual and Family plan with a certain life event.1

How to Enroll During Special Enrollment

You may have a different experience enrolling in a health plan during Special Enrollment than you do during Open Enrollment. Review the steps you should take after going through a qualifying life event to enroll in a new Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) plan for you and your family.

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1. Experience a Certain Life Event

If you've gone through one of several life events outside of Open Enrollment, you're able to enroll in a health plan during Special Enrollment.

Learn about the life events that qualify

2. Understand Your Timeline

In most cases, you have 60 days (including weekends and holidays) from the date of your life event to buy a new health plan.

Understand your enrollment timeline

3. Gather Your Documentation

Before enrolling in your new plan, you may need to send in documents depending on the event you went through. These documents, like a marriage license or adoption certificate, should show proof of your life event and its date.

Review the documents you may need

4. Find a BCBSNM Health Plan

Once you've found a plan that fits you and your family, apply and make your first payment for coverage to start.

Start shopping

Applying During Special Enrollment

You have a few ways to apply for a health plan during the Special Enrollment Period.


 You can safely and securely enroll in your new health plan online, either on-Exchange with beWellnm or off-Exchange with BCBSNM. 


Call 1-888-809-1135 to speak with a BCBSNM licensed sales representative.


Work with an independent, authorized agent to sign you up.

Qualifying Events

There are many kinds of life events that may qualify you for Special Enrollment, like:

  • Losing your 2023 Medicaid coverage
  • Adopting or having a child, or gaining a dependent through court-order
  • The passing of a policy holder
  • Moving to a new area with different plans or HMO network
  • Getting married
  • Turning 26 while on a family member’s policy
  • Separating or divorcing your spouse
  • Losing health coverage because of a job loss or change, end of COBRA coverage or other reasons2
  • A change in income or household status
  • An employer offering to help with your coverage cost (through an ICHRA  or QSEHRA)
  • Your health care coverage ending on a date other than December 31st of the current plan year
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen3
  • A health insurance company violating its contract with you
  • Becoming a member of an American Indian or Alaska Native tribe3
  • Experiencing an error or other issue when trying to enroll
  • Having an annual individual or household income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level

Review a full list of events that qualify.


Not All Life Events Qualify for Special Enrollment

Non-qualifying events may be:

  • Choosing not to get health care coverage from your job
  • Travel insurance expiring
  • Loss of a short-term or temporary health plan4
  • Gaining voluntary guardianship of a dependent (not authorized by a court)
  • Choosing to cancel your health plan before its renewal or end date
  • Loss of state or federal health care coverage or assistance due to not supplying needed documents as proof
  • Ending participation in a Medical Cost Sharing Group

You can always call us at 1-888-809-1135use the contact form, or contact beWellNM, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, if you have questions or need help.

Important Information About Special Enrollment

When you buy or change your health plan during Special Enrollment, your health care coverage may not start right away. Your coverage start date is most often based on:


You normally have 60 days (including weekends and holidays) from the date of your life event to buy a new health plan.

However, you may be able to enroll before your event occurs, like in the case of losing health care coverage due to job loss. Please call 1-888-809-1135 with any questions.


Before enrolling in a new plan, you may need to send in approved documents, or proof, showing you had an event that qualifies and your life event's date.

Review a full list of required documents.

1Members of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes can apply for health care coverage any month of the year. If you qualify for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or other assistance based on your income, you do not need to enroll during the Special Enrollment Period.

2The following are not considered loss of coverage: voluntarily canceling your health insurance plan, having your plan canceled because you did not pay your premiums or because your plan did not meet the requirements set by the Affordable Care Act for Minimum Essential Coverage.

3Only for health plans bought on the Marketplace.

4BCBSNM does not offer temporary or short-term plans. These plans may not provide the full benefits of a BCBSNM health plan, including essential health benefits.

P2054 Rev 04/23

Last Updated: April 26, 2023