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Nothing about health is set in stone, including insurance needs. So, what happens if you’re enrolled in a health plan, but later realize your needs – or the needs of your family – have changed?
Here’s what you need to know:
There are two periods of time when you can change your health insurance plan. These two periods are called special enrollment and open enrollment.
The way you originally enrolled in your health insurance plan will affect the way you change it.
If you enrolled through the Health Insurance Marketplace or directly with BCBSIL you have an individual or family plan. Open enrollment for individual and family plans begins Nov. 1 every year. However, if you’ve experienced a qualifying life event, you may be able to change your health insurance plan during the special enrollment period.
Finally, if you enrolled through your employer, you have a group plan or group coverage. Group plans set their own schedule for open enrollment and special enrollment. To change your health insurance plan, you’ll have to call your company’s human resource department or the number on the back of your member ID card. They can give you specific details about your open enrollment and special enrollment periods.
In every case, you won’t be able to change your health insurance plan unless you’re in an open enrollment period or you’ve experienced a qualifying life event outside the open enrollment period.
Think you qualify for special enrollment? Review the special enrollment qualifications, answer a few questions and start shopping for your new plan.
What is changing in YOUR life? Tell us about it in the comments.
Originally published 6/8/2015; Revised 2018, 2023
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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