For a window of time each year, you’re able to enroll or make changes in your employer plan or your individuation plan. But what happens if you have a life event that changes your need for health insurance outside of your open enrollment period? If you’ve experienced a significant life event, you might qualify for a special enrollment period. This special enrollment period may allow you to enroll in a health plan or change your coverage.

7 examples of qualifying life events:

  1. Getting Married

    Don’t let your window of opportunity slide while you’re on your honeymoon or reminiscing over your wedding day. Getting married qualifies you for a special enrollment period. During this time, you’ll be able to add your spouse or other dependents to an existing plan or shop for new coverage.

  2. Birth or Adoption of a Child

    Growing your family by having a baby, adoption or foster care means it’s time to take a close look at everyone’s medical needs and ensure they’re met by your healthcare plan. Use your special enrollment period to add your new family member to your plan or make other plan changes.

  3. Divorce

    What happens if you’re currently on your spouse’s policy and you’re getting divorced? Navigating a divorce can be difficult and your health insurance coverage is an important factor to consider and make any necessary changes to during the special enrollment period. 

  4. Change in Employment Status

    If you lose your employer-sponsored health insurance because you leave your job or get laid off, you qualify for a special enrollment period.

  5. Newly Graduated or Turning 26

    New graduates who participated in student health plans and those who are turning 26 and currently covered under their parent’s plan are also granted a special enrollment period. The Affordable Care Act allows you to remain on your parents’ health insurance plan up to age 26 but once you “age off” your parents plan, you must obtain your own coverage.

  6. Moving

    Moving doesn’t necessarily qualify you for a special enrollment period. However, since most insurance plans are specific to a particular geographic area, you might qualify for a special enrollment period so you can obtain health coverage in your new location.

  7. Loss of a Loved One

    Coping with the loss of a loved one is emotionally difficult and can bring many life changes, which might mean a change in your health insurance coverage if they were providing you with health insurance coverage. 


Knowing that you and your family have the right coverage plan in place can provide peace of mind. At any stage in your life, a Farm Bureau Agent can be a resource for the education, information, and ultimately, the coverage you need to protect your health.