This year's open enrollment for health insurance through the federal marketplace ended February 15th, and the 2016 sign-up period doesn't open until November first. But as Heartland Health Monitor's Bryan Thompson explains, thousands of Kansans have been able to sign up in the last six months anyway.
That's because of what the government refers to as special enrollment periods. They're based on the notion that life can change, so enrollment needs to be flexible.
For example, a consumer may lose a job that provided health care, they might get a better job--one that makes them ineligible for Medicaid, or they could get married, or have a baby.
More than 11,000 Kansans signed up for coverage between Feb. 23 and June 30 for reasons like these, and others. By far the most common reason was loss of coverage.
There are a total of 13 circumstances that can trigger a special enrollment period.