Qualifying life events

What, exactly, is a qualifying life event?

A qualifying life event is a big life-changing situation — sometimes planned, sometimes unexpected — that can impact you and your health insurance. Experiencing a significant life change may allow you to change your health plan outside of the annual enrollment period (also called open enrollment).

Qualifying life events include (but are not necessarily limited to):1

  • Having or adopting a baby

  • Getting married

  • Moving to a new area

  • Experiencing a shift in employment status

  • Turning 26 

  • Getting divorced

  • Death of someone who shares your health plan

  • Earning U.S. citizenship

  • Turning 65

If you experience a qualifying life event, sign up right away

In most situations, you’ll need to make changes to your health plan within a specific time frame of the qualifying life event. Missing this deadline could mean having to wait until the next open enrollment, which could be as long as a year. For more information, check your plan materials or contact your employer.

If you’re between enrollment periods and haven’t experienced a qualifying life event, short term health insurance is an option to bridge the gap. That way, you can help assure that you’re not without insurance at any point.

Types of qualifying life events

Many of life’s big moments may open the door to making changes to your health insurance coverage outside of the regular open enrollment period. Changes can most often be made either 30 or 60 days after the qualifying life event happens. Here’s a little about each event that might qualify.

If you’ve experienced a qualifying life event, please call the phone number on your member ID card.

Are you turning 65?

Turning 65 is another moment in time that’s a qualifying life event. It gives you a chance to look into your opportunities for a Medicare plan.

Learn what types of health insurance are available

Get an overview of the different types of insurance to see which one may work best for you — both for right now and to be prepared for open enrollment time.

Need a plan now, but haven’t experienced a qualifying life event?

There are a number of options to help you fill a gap in health insurance if you haven’t experienced a qualifying life event. Here's an option to help you get started.

Short term health insurance

Standard short term health insurance planscan help you fill a gap in coverage from 1 month to just under a year.3

More insurance plans


  1. For more information about qualifying life events and special enrollment periods, visit healthcare.gov
  2. Short term health insurance plans are medically underwritten and do not provide coverage for preexisting conditions.
  3. Product design and availability vary by state. Term lengths available vary by state.