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Qualifying life events

Key life events mean you can make changes to your healthcare plan

In most cases, you can only make changes to your health insurance coverage during the annual Open Enrollment Period. But there are a few life events that may let you make changes or add dependents at other times, called qualifying life events. If you have a qualifying life event, you can take advantage of a Special Enrollment Period.

qualifying life eventsWhat is a Special Enrollment Period?

A Special Enrollment Period allows you to enroll in new coverage or make changes to your existing coverage outside the typical Open Enrollment Period. If you do not have a qualifying life event, then you cannot make changes in your coverage until the next Open Enrollment Period.

What is a qualifying life event?

Qualifying life events are major life events that lead to needed health plan changes. Once you have a qualifying life event you will have a certain timeframe to make changes and fill out an application for coverage.

Here are few examples of qualifying life events:

  • Event: Birth of a child or adoption
    Time to apply: 60 days from the birth
  • Event: Marriage
    Time to apply: 60 days from the marriage
  • Event: Move to a new area
    Time to apply: 60 days from the move
  • Event: Involuntary loss of previous group coverage (loss of a job)
    Time to apply: 30 days from loss of coverage
  • Event: Death of a spouse or dependent child
    Time to apply: 60 days from death
  • Event: Divorce, annulment or legal separation
    Time to apply: 60 days from finalization

This is not a full list of qualifying life events. If you have questions or want to know how to report a qualifying life event, call the Blue Cross of Idaho Customer Service Department at the number on the back of your member ID card.

If you get your health insurance through your employer, you can also talk to your plan administrator.

If you bought your plan through Your Health Idaho, you can contact them here.

You will need to have documentation to support your qualifying life event to make changes to your plan.

Have questions about other terms?

Health insurance can be confusing, but we have resources to help you find the information you need to understand your plan. Watch our Blue Bulletin blog for information on topics like health insurance terms and other information on understanding your benefits.

Download the member app

You can also find health insurance term definitions and resources on the Blue Cross of Idaho member app. Go to your profile and then select Resources at the bottom of the screen to find FAQs and other helpful information. Don't have the app? Download it in the App Store or Google Play today!


 Posted: April 20, 2022