Life changes can affect your Marketplace health insurance coverage

Report life events and you may qualify for different Marketplace health insurance coverage or savings.

Over 7 million people in the United States enrolled for health insurance plans in the Marketplace between October 2013 and March 2014. Once you have Marketplace coverage, you must report certain life changes. This information may change the coverage or savings for which you are eligible.

You report changes directly to the Marketplace. Some changes also need to be reported to your insurance company, if you are covered by a private insurance plan. It is your responsibility to report changes in a timely way, usually within 60 days of the life event.

Your changes can make a difference in the kind of coverage you qualify for. If this is the case, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). A SEP allows a consumer to enroll in new health coverage and have it be effective, even if the normal enrollment period is over. Changes can also make a difference in the amount you pay for a plan.

After you report your changes to the Marketplace, you will receive a notice explaining what you need to do next, like enroll in new coverage, or adjust your tax credit amounts.

You must report a change if you:

  • Get married or divorced
  • Have a child, adopt a child or place a child for adoption
  • Have a change in income
  • Get health coverage through a job or program like Medicare or Medicaid
  • Change your place of residence
  • Have a change in disability status
  • Gain or lose a dependent
  • Become pregnant
  • Experience other changes that may affect your income and household size.
  • Other changes to report: change in tax filing status; change of citizenship or immigration status; incarceration or release from incarceration (prison); change in status as an American Indian/Alaska Native or tribal status; correction to name, date of birth, or Social Security Number (SSN).

You can report life changes online in your HealthCare.gov account, or call the Health Insurance Marketplace call center at 1-800‑318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.

After you report changes to the Marketplace, you’ll get a new eligibility notice that will explain:

  • Whether you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that allows you shop in the Marketplace to change plans.
  • Whether you are eligible for lower costs based on your new income, household size, or other changed information. You may become eligible for the first time, for a different amount of savings, or for new coverage through Medicaid, the Healthy Michigan Plan, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is called MiChild in Michigan. You also could become ineligible for savings – if your income has gone up, for example.

Some changes do not affect your coverage or savings, but you still need to report when your home address, email address or phone number changes to the Marketplace and also to your insurance company.

For more answers to your questions about health insurance, go to healthcare.gov Q&A or the Health Insurance FAQs - eXtension. Also, Michigan State University Extension is providing education about health insurance basics this year, including the why, what and how for making a smart decision. Find out about Smart Choice: Health Insurance workshops and factual information at the Affordable Care Act Roadmap.

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