What is a qualifying life event?

Any shift in circumstances that would make you eligible to change your health plan or enroll in a new one is a qualifying life event (QLE). When you provide proof of your QLE, you'll be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). The SEP allows you to sign up for a health plan outside the annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which runs from Nov. 1 to Jan. 15. QLEs are selected by the federal government, and they include marriage, childbirth, aging off a parent's plan and loss of coverage from an employer.

Is COBRA coverage ending a qualifying life event?

Yes. COBRA coverage ending is a qualifying event, as is the loss of job-based coverage. Most people can stay on COBRA for about a year and a half to three years before their coverage ends and a SEP becomes active. Keep in mind that this only applies to planned end dates; a loss in COBRA coverage due to a failure to pay your premiums will not make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

What happens when COBRA coverage ends?

You will have 60 days before your coverage ends to choose a new health plan, as well as 60 days afterward.

You'll have the option to choose and enroll in a new Individual and family health plan for yourself and your dependents.

Be sure to make your decision during the Special Enrollment Period because missing it means waiting until the next annual Open Enrollment Period to enroll for coverage.

Getting health coverage after COBRA ends

You'll have many Individual and family health plans to choose from on the Marketplace and it can feel overwhelming at first. Choosing a health plan for yourself and your dependents is a major decision, and you should make sure you have all the information you need before making a choice.

Priority Health's Learning Center has a wide range of resources available to help you understand the different health plans and the language used to describe them. We also show you how you can save on health coverage through federal tax subsidies. 

We also have health plan experts on our team who are available to answer your questions in-depth and talk with you about the options available. Call 833.532.0274.

When you're looking for a health plan on the Marketplace, it's good to keep several factors in mind.

  • Any chronic health conditions you may have
  • Whether you currently take any prescription drugs
  • How often you need to visit a doctor or specialist
  • If it's important to you that you keep the same provider
  • Additional benefits such as hearing aids or gym memberships

Why choose Priority Health?

We are a Michigan-based company with deep roots in the community. We work hard to improve the overall health of the people in our community and instill a sense of hope.

Priority Health has been providing affordable and high-quality health plans to Michigan residents for more than 30 years. We continue to be recognized as a leader in quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. The health plans we offer are made to better our clients' health at an affordable price.

Our customers also have access to a mobile app that offers an easy way to manage their health plan. They can view their personal information, find doctors, keep track of their spending and use tools to help them save money on the cost of care.

Talk to the experts at Priority Health

Is your COBRA coverage coming to an end? Reach out to the experts at Priority Health to talk about the health plans that you can choose during the Special Enrollment Period. Call 833.532.0274.

Frequently asked questions

When is open enrollment?

The annual Open Enrollment Period runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15 for health coverage for the following year. If you enroll by Dec. 15 your coverage begins Jan. 1. If you enroll between Dec. 16 and Jan 15, your coverage begins Feb. 1. After Jan. 15, you can only enroll or change your health coverage if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

What are the other qualifying life events?

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