Life Happens — but COBRA Isn’t Your Only Health Insurance Option

By February 29, 2016June 28th, 2017Health Insurance
Life happens — but COBRA isn’t your only health insurance option

Need health insurance? You may be able to buy a low-cost plan if you have a qualifying life event. View your options & learn more.

Lose your health insurance? You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period

No one plans on getting sick, having an accident, or losing their health insurance. But it sometimes happens. The good news is that COBRA coverage isn’t your only choice for health insurance. In fact, losing your coverage may actually qualify you for special enrollment in a health plan. The 2016 Special Enrollment Period is February 1 through October 31, 2016. This enrollment period occurs outside of Open Enrollment and lets you get coverage if you experience one of the following life events:

  • Losing your job
  • Getting divorced
  • Death of a spouse

You can also become eligible for special enrollment if you experience any of these events:

  • Having or adopting a baby*
  • Moving permanently to a new coverage area
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen
  • Getting married*

If any of these life events happen to you, know that you may be able to apply for an affordable new health insurance plan from Independence Blue Cross. In 2016, we are offering some of the lowest-priced health plans in the Philadelphia five-county area.** There may be other unique situations that can qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. If you believe you qualify, but do not see your life event listed above, please call us at 1-888-475-6206.

When can I buy health insurance during the Special Enrollment Period?

If you experience a qualified life-changing event, then you can enroll for health insurance within 60 days of your life event.

In some scenarios, you can submit your application early to prevent a gap in coverage (going without health insurance). If you experience a loss of coverage, you have the option of applying up to 60 days prior to your loss of coverage. Note that you can apply for a new plan 30 days prior to your permanent move to a new area.

If you don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, your next opportunity to apply for coverage is the 2017 annual Open Enrollment period, which starts on November 1, 2016, and will run through January 31, 2017.

Learn more about the Special Enrollment Period.


*If you already have an Independence Blue Cross health plan, and you welcome a new baby or get married, you can add your baby or spouse to your current health plan under our normal policy change process.
**Source: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


Paula Sunshine

About Paula Sunshine

As SVP and Chief Marketing Executive at Independence Blue Cross, Paula Sunshine is accountable for the Individual Under-65 market segment. In this capacity, she is directly responsible for developing and executing all direct-to-consumer marketing and sales capabilities. In addition, Ms. Sunshine is accountable for insuring the delivery of market-competitive products and pricing as well as operational readiness for the Consumer market.