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Started New Business -- Can I still enroll

I just started a new business and am basically self employed.   Can I enroll now or do I need to wait until November 15?


  • Starting a new business in and of itself is not a proper event to get coverage outside of the regular period.  Now, if you quit a job where you had been getting coverage, then you could get coverage outside of the regular period.
  • Hi @kingofsting:

    Obamacare allows you and your family to sign up for health insurance outside of the Open Enrollment Period (note that the OEP starts Nov. 1st this year for coverage starting on Jan. 1st), if you experience certain qualifying life events, during what is termed a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).  In most cases, you have 60 days after the date that triggered the qualifying life event to purchase major medical individual or family health insurance coverage, i.e. the SEP last for 60 days after the event triggered.  Qualifying life events include Loss of essential health coverage, Change of family structure, Change in citizenship status, Experience government error, Change in subsidy eligibility and Move to a new coverage area.  

    So, in your case, if becoming self-employed was associated with a job change, which in turn was associated with loss of coverage from leaving your previous job, you may be eligible to obtain coverage starting earlier than Jan. 1st.  I recommend talking to a qualified insurance broker/Obamacare "Navigator" in your area as they can help you determine if you have a qualifying life event and help you sign-up.  They receive a monthly commission from your premium for helping you sign-up but it doesn't cost you anymore, so it's a win-win and you get the knowledgeable help you need (or I know I need!).

    Best regards,
  • Hi kingofsting.  My name is Lee, and I'm a licensed insurance agent.

    Like Bob said one way that you can qualify to enroll in a plan would be if starting your business made you have a loss of insurance coverage because of leaving a job.  

    Other qualifying events would be:
    • Moving from one zip code to another
    • Change in family dynamics; ie. marriage, divorce (coverage ending), child birth, adoption, or giving a child up for adoption
    • Any loss of minimum essential coverage including COBRA or Medicaid (Medi-Cal)
    • Return from active military service
    • Court order to purchase insurance or filed bankrupcy
    • Or release from incarceration
    If you have any of these qualifying events you can enroll in a plan starting December 1st.  If not you can enroll during the open enrollment period, starting Sunday, November 1st for a January 1st effective date.

    If you need help exploring your health insurance options and enrolling into a plan feel free to give me a call or an email.  My information is below.  

    Lee Daigle
    CA License 0H63288
  • Thats good to know, because I was under the impression that the only way to enroll after the deadline was if they extended it for one reason or another.
  • I think you can enroll at any time, but there is extra fees for being late. There is a certain window of time that you can enroll during the year. If you dont enroll in that time, you can still get insurance, but it will cost more. 
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