Special Enrollment Period

Do you qualify for the Special Enrollment Period?

If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you can enroll in health insurance outside the annual Open Enrollment period.

You qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you’ve had certain life changes like getting married, having a baby, or losing job-based health insurance. These are called “qualifying life events.”

You can qualify for a special enrollment period if any of the following applies to you:




  • Coverage can take effect: The first day of the month after you enroll
  • Enrollment window: Up to 60 days after your marriage. (You can’t enroll until after the marriage.)



Having a Child




Turning 26 Years Old

  •  Aging off a parent’s coverage at 26



Losing Current Health Care Coverage

  • This could include losing a job-based plan, losing coverage through divorce, losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, and similar events:
  • Coverage can take effect: The first day of the month after you enroll and after the loss of coverage
  • Enrollment window: From 60 days before to 60 days after losing your other coverage Important: If you leave your job for any reason and lose your job-based health coverage, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. But you don’t get an SEP if you voluntarily drop: a job-based plan without leaving your job; an individual insurance plan; unexpired COBRA coverage; or any plan that doesn’t qualify as minimum essential coverage.


New to Illinois

  • First time resident of Illinois
  • Returning to Illinois as a resident








Other qualifying life events

In addition to the situations above, the following life events also qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. But if they happen during Open Enrollment, your coverage can’t start any sooner than it would without an SEP.


Still have questions?


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Special Enrollment Period Form

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