Qualifying events are big life changes that allow individuals to change their insurance coverage outside of enrollment periods, such as getting married, having a baby or losing a job. These events must be verifiable by the insurance company.
Annual open enrollment periods may vary by employer or insurance company, but they are typically held from November 15 to February 15. People are permitted to drop coverage, add coverage and designate beneficiaries during this time. However, people are not permitted to make changes outside of the open enrollment period unless they have a qualifying event. Since the Affordable Healthcare Act requires everyone to have health insurance, failing to enroll during the open enrollment period could result in a fine for those who do not have insurance.