In 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Obamacare was then upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. After it took effect in 2014, hundreds of Americans had the opportunity to sign up for health insurance through Obamacare enrollment. Obamacare enrollment can provide insurance to many people who are otherwise uninsured. However, there are a few things about Obamacare enrollment that insurance customers need to keep in mind.

How does Obamacare enrollment work?

Obamacare enrollment allows people to use a health insurance marketplace, also called a health insurance exchange, to shop around for policies. Anyone who is not currently enrolled in Medicare can use Obamacare enrollment, but some people may be eligible for financial assistance when getting insurance through Obamacare enrollment. Each year there is a window of time for open Obamacare enrollment when people can renew previous Obamacare enrollment plans, change the type of plan they use, or shop around for a new Obamacare enrollment plan. After the window of opportunity closes, Obamacare enrollment is not available until the open enrollment for the following year begins unless a person qualifies for a special Obamacare enrollment period. People who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP (the children’s health insurance plan) have their own enrollment periods separate from the open Obamacare enrollment time.

Who is eligible for a special Obamacare enrollment period?

Certain major life changes or events can make a person eligible for a special Obamacare enrollment event. Some of the major life events or changes that might qualify for a special Obamacare enrollment period are as follows:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Notification of ineligibility for Medicaid or CHIP or loss of benefits from Medicaid or CHIP
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Putting a child up for adoption or into foster care
  • Loss of health insurance from an employer
  • Moving to an area not covered by your previous health insurance