Applying outside of open enrollment
If open enrollment for health and dental plans has ended, you may be able to get coverage at any time of year:
When you apply, you may need to provide documents that prove your eligibility to enroll.
How Do I Enroll?
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are eligible to buy a plan now (because of a special circumstance), you can enroll online at MarylandHealthConnection.gov, call our Consumer Support Center at 1-855-642-8572 (Deaf and hard of hearing use Relay service) or visit a navigator or insurance broker near you.
Enrollment in Medicaid and the Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP) is year round. You can enroll in Medicaid/MCHP at any time if you qualify.
You may be eligible for Medicaid now, even if you weren’t in the past. The best way to know if you’re eligible for Medicaid is to apply. Your child or a member of your household may be eligible for Medicaid even if you’re not.
You can apply at any time online at MarylandHealthConnection.gov or by visiting a local connector entity, health department or department of social services. You can also apply by calling our Consumer Support Center at 1-855-642-8572 (Deaf and hard of hearing use Relay service).
A Special Enrollment Period allows you to enroll in a qualified health plan through Maryland Health Connection or change your current plan outside of the annual open enrollment period.
You may newly enroll or change plans only if you have certain life events and are otherwise eligible to enroll in coverage through Maryland Health Connection (including that you are a US citizen, US National or lawfully present in the US; you are not incarcerated; and you live in Maryland).
You have 60 days from the date of the triggering event to report the event to Maryland Health Connection and select your plan, if you are eligible to enroll.
If you believe you have experienced an error with your application and/or enrollment through Maryland Health Connection, please report your issue to the Consumer Support Center.
There are a variety of life events and circumstances that may allow you to enroll in a qualified health plan through Maryland Health Connection or change your current plan. Whether you qualify for a special enrollment period depends on the type of event and how it affects your eligibility for coverage.
Examples of life events that may allow you to enroll in coverage through Maryland Health Connection outside of the annual open enrollment period include:
- Getting married or divorced
- Having a child, adopting a child, or placing a child for adoption or in foster care
- Certain changes in income
- Moving to or from Maryland, and certain moves within the state
- Having a change in disability status
- Gaining or losing a dependent
- Certain losses of other health coverage (such as employer ending coverage, or loss of job or employee leaving a job that provides coverage — but not termination for consumer’s failure to pay plan premium)
- Becoming ineligible for Medicaid or MCHP
- Turning 26 years old if you are enrolled in coverage through your family’s plan
- COBRA coverage period ends
- Other changes that may affect eligibility include: change in tax filing status; change of citizenship or immigration status; incarceration or release from incarceration; change in status as an American Indian/Alaska Native or tribal status
- Certain errors or exceptional circumstances. These are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
You also should report other changes that may not affect your eligibility for coverage, such as corrections to name, date of birth, or Social Security number.
As part of the eligibility decision process, you may be asked to provide documentation regarding your income, lawful presence, incarceration status and/or American Indian or Alaska Native affiliation.
It is important to note that generally you cannot qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you lose your health coverage because you stopped paying your premiums. Also, there is no Special Enrollment Period available to people because they become ill, develop a chronic condition or have an accident.
Becoming pregnant is not considered a life event that triggers a special enrollment period to enroll in a qualified health plan through Maryland Health Connection outside of open enrollment or to change your current health plan. However, giving birth will qualify you for a special enrollment period. If you are pregnant, you should report this information to Maryland Health Connection as soon as possible because you may qualify for Medicaid. You can apply for Medicaid at any point during your pregnancy.
As of Jan. 1, 2020, women who become pregnant will be eligible to enroll in health coverage outside of open enrollment or to change their current health plan.