Still Need to Get a Health Insurance Plan?

If you have a life event like losing Medicaid coverage, having or adopting a baby, or starting a new job, you may be able to enroll in a health plan during the Special Enrollment Period.1

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    Life happens.

    One minute, you're in your groove. The next minute, you're hit with big, unexpected news. Whether good or bad, planned or unplanned, these life-changing events can pose a challenge to how we access health care. That's where the Special Enrollment Period comes in.

    Everyone with health insurance coverage gets some kind of opportunity to change their coverage after big life events. So, what makes the Special Enrollment Period so "special?" Well, you do! It's based on the special things happening in your life, and these are called qualifying events.

    For example, did you get married recently? Congrats! You and your spouse can now enroll in a new health plan. Or maybe you welcomed a new baby into the family. Perhaps you've had a major move or your income has changed. Or maybe you're just adulting on your own now. If you've aged out of coverage under your parents, than you also have a special opportunity to enroll.

    Special Enrollment Periods are also good opportunities to see if you're eligible for financial help, also known as a subsidy or a tax credit. And the good news is health care coverage might be more affordable than you think.

    Need help applying?  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas can answer your questions and help you find a health plan that's right for you and your family. Reach out for assistance in English, Spanish and 15 other languages and we'll be looking forward to serving you.

Life Events That Qualify You For Special Enrollment

  • Losing or getting denied for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage
  • Having or adopting a child, or gaining a dependent through court-order
  • The passing of a policy holder
  • Moving to a new area with different plans or HMO network
  • Getting married
  • Turning 26 while on a family member’s policy
  • Separating or divorcing your spouse
  • Losing health coverage because of a job loss or change, end of COBRA coverage or other reasons2
  • An employer offering to help with your coverage cost (through an ICHRA or QSEHRA)
  • Your health care coverage ending on a date other than December 31st of the current plan year
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen3
  • A health insurance company violating its contract with you
  • Becoming a member of an American Indian or Alaska Native tribe3
  • Experiencing an error or other issue when trying to enroll
  • Having an annual individual or household income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level

Compare Plans. Start Enrolling.

Explore your health care options, find out if you can save with a premium tax credit and start enrolling on our shopping platform. Get started by entering some information, like ZIP code.

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Chat With Our Team

Our health plan specialists are here to help — whether you have questions, need help, or just prefer to enroll over the phone.

Steps for Enrolling During Special Enrollment

If you've had a life event that qualifies you to update your plan, review these next steps for your BCBSTX enrollment:

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Know your timeline.

In most cases, you have 60 days (including weekends and holidays) from the date of your life change to buy a new health plan.

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Gather documents.

Depending on your life event, you may need to send in documents that confirm its date.

Review the documents you need

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Check for savings.

Before you start shopping, know your household income. You can learn if you qualify for savings on our shopping platform.

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Compare plans.

When you're ready to shop, keep your budget, health care needs and network in mind to compare options on our shopping platform.

Not All Life Events Qualify for Special Enrollment

Non-qualifying events may be:

  • Choosing not to get health care coverage from your job
  • Choosing to stop your existing coverage
  • Travel insurance expiring
  • Loss of a short-term or temporary health plan4
  • Gaining voluntary guardianship of a dependent (not authorized by a court)
  • Choosing to cancel your health plan before its renewal or end date
  • Loss of state or federal health care coverage or assistance due to not supplying needed documents as proof
  • Ending participation in a Medical Cost Sharing Group


1Members of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes can apply for health care coverage any month of the year. If you qualify for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or other assistance based on your income, you do not need to enroll during the Special Enrollment Period.

2The following are not considered loss of coverage: voluntarily canceling your health insurance plan, having your plan canceled because you did not pay your premiums or because your plan did not meet the requirements set by the Affordable Care Act for Minimum Essential Coverage.

3Only for health plans bought on the Marketplace.

4BCBSTX does not offer temporary or short-term plans. These plans may not provide the full benefits of a BCBSTX health plan, including essential health benefits.

Last Updated: June 18, 2024