Reminder: A LOT of people can still enroll in a healthcare plan, even during the "off season"

Amy Lynn Smith has a great piece over at Eclectablog about the Get Covered America campaign, which is devoted to educating people about the law and helping them enroll:

The task of getting more people insured is never done. That’s why the Get Covered America campaign is kicking off a weekend of action on Friday. While celebrating its one-year anniversary of educating consumers about their new health insurance options, the campaign will be sending volunteers into communities across the country.

In addition, there's a related organization called Young Invincibles (hah!), specifically devoted to educating and assisting young adults (the sought-after 18-34 crowd) in enrolling, particularly during the off-season:

As commencement season comes to a close, we’re rolling out a new campaign at Young Invincibles to make Millennials across the country aware of their health coverage options. Anyone who graduates college and loses a student health plan, moves to a new home, gets married, has a baby or turns 26 years-old can enroll in a new health plan ahead of the next Open Enrollment season that begins in November.

Unfortunately, many young adults are not aware that they qualify for health coverage. We’re launching a summer-long effort at Young Invincibles to change this. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely than any other age group to experience a life-changing event that qualifies them for what’s known as Special Enrollment. 

In other words, even though the official Open Enrollment period is over, there's still a lot of exceptions:

  • Medicaid enrollment is year-round
  • SHOP (Small Business) enrollment is year-round

However, even for exchange QHP (qualifying healthcare plan) enrollment, there are still plenty of exceptions which allow you to enroll in (or change) your policy:

  • If you're a Native American, you can enroll in an exchange QHP at any time
  • Getting married
  • Getting divorced
  • Giving birth
  • Adopting a child
  • Turning 26 years old
  • Moving to a different state
  • Losing a job with health benefits
  • Losing a student health plan
  • Significant change in income
  • Gaining citizenship
  • Being released from jail

I strongly advise anyone who is expecting any of the above life changes (or who recently experienced any of them) to find out whether they can enroll or change their coverage.