You can currently only buy health insurance if you have a life-changing event. Certain events, including losing job-based coverage, moving, getting married, and having a baby all make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Otherwise, almost all Coloradans can buy health insurance during the Open Enrollment period, which begins Nov. 1, 2021.
If you received unemployment benefits for at least one week in 2021, you may qualify for financial help that makes some plan options $0/month for the rest of 2021, if you have a life-changing event.
When you can sign up
Coloradans who experience a Qualifying Life Change Event, during or outside of the Open Enrollment Period have a 60-day window to buy or change plans. This is known as a Special Enrollment Period. Certain events, including moving, getting married, and having a baby all make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
If you miss your Special Enrollment Period window, you may have to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period (Nov. 1 – Jan. 15) to apply.
You can enroll in Medicaid or the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) program any time of year, whether you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period or not.
Life change events include but are not limited to:
Family additions or changes
- Birth of a baby, adoption of a child or placement of a child for foster care
- Getting married or divorced
- Death of a household member enrolled in a plan through Connect for Health Colorado
Loss of health insurance coverage
- You lost health insurance from your job
- You no longer qualify for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program)
- You no longer qualify for Medicare Part A
- You are turning 26 and aging off your parent’s plan
- Your student health plan ended
Move or change in permanent residence
- Move to Colorado
- Move to a new permanent address- certain conditions apply
- Leaving incarceration
- Gain of lawful presence (i.e. legally living in the United States according to federal immigration laws)
Changes to income (for current enrollees only)
- Changes in your income that affect the amount of Cost-Sharing Reductions (lower out-of-pocket costs) you qualify for
- Changes in your income that make you newly qualify for Premium Tax Credit (lower monthly costs)
- Changes in your income that make you no longer qualify for the Premium Tax Credit (lower monthly costs)
Proof of your Qualifying Life Change Event
After you sign up for a plan during your Special Enrollment period, your health insurance company may ask you to show proof of the Qualifying Life Change Event.
Special Enrollment for members of federally-recognized tribes
Members of federally-recognized tribes (and their household members on the same application) can change plans or sign up for a new plan once per month.