1. 5527 POINTS
    Marlin McKelvy
    President, Consumer Directed Benefit Solutions, Memphis, Tennessee
    For a person in the individual health insurance market after January 1, 2014 you can switch your health insurance in a limited number of circumstances under the requirements of the Affordabel Care Act.

    1) During the open enrollment period, which ended on March 31st, 2014.  The next open enrollment period begins on November 15th, 2014 for an effective date of January 1, 2015 at the earliest.

    2) Having a change of life status event.  There are several things that can occur in your work or personal life that would allow you to enroll or change carriers outside of the newly established open enrollment periods.  Some examples are;

    - Loss of employer based coverage due to termination of employment or reduction in hours.
    - COBRA expiration: your COBRA or state continuation of coverage period expires
    - Loss of a Government Sponsored Plan - loss of eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, TRICARE, Veterans programs, Peace Corps programs
    - Loss of Minimum Essential Coverage - loss of an existing policy with Minimum Essential Benefits such as; a Student Health Insurance plan or State High Risk Pool coverage
    - Birth, Adoption, Foster Care or Legal Guardianship
    - Marriage
    - No longer being an eligible dependent; loss of employer sponsored or individual coverage because you are no longer eligible as a dependent.  Generally this would mean you have turned age 26.
    - Divorce from a policyholder
    - Termination of a pre-ACA individual plan during 2014 (this does not apply to short term major medical insurance plans)
    - Moving: you move out of state, or to a new area that offers different plan options or is outside of an HMO plan's service area
    - Returning from active military service
    - Being released from jail
    - Newly eligible or ineligible for exchange subsidies or premium tax credit or cost-sharing reductions.  This would mean a change in income levels have either now qualified you for subsidies you did not previously qualify for or have disqualified you for subsidies that you previously qualified for.
    - A material violation by the health plan: the health plan you enrolled in violates a material provision of its contract

    This pretty well covers the situations in which an individual can switch their health insurance under the conditions of the Affordable Care Act.
    Answered on May 12, 2014
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