Your Special Enrollment Period in Illinois

If you have a life event or change like losing your 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.

Your Plan Options

During Special Enrollment, you can choose a new Individual and Family plan with a qualifying life event.1

Life Events That Qualify You For Special Enrollment

Some life events don’t qualify you for the Special Enrollment Period, like choosing to drop your existing coverage. Fortunately, many events do qualify you for special enrollment, like:

Review a full list of qualifying events.

  • A change in income or household status
  • 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

More Ways to Apply

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Call 1-866-514-8044 to speak with a BCBSIL licensed health plan specialist.

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Work with an independent, authorized agent to sign you up for a plan.

How to Enroll During Special Enrollment

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

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1. Go Through a Life Event That Qualifies

If you've gone through certain life events, you may be able to enroll in a health plan during Special Enrollment.

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2. Understand Your Timeline

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

Please note, your health care coverage may not start right away. Your coverage start date is most often based on your life event and its date, the date you apply and when you pay your first bill.

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3. Gather Your Documentation

You might need to send in documents that confirm your life event before you can enroll in a new plan. These documents, like a marriage license or adoption certificate, should show your life event and its date.

Review the documents you need

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4. Find a BCBSIL Health Plan

Once you've found a plan that fits you and your family, apply and make your first payment for coverage to start.

Start shopping

Not All Life Events Qualify for Special Enrollment

Non-qualifying events may be:

  • Choosing not to get health care coverage from your job
  • 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

You can always call us at 1-866-514-8044 or use our contact form if you have questions or need help.

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.

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

Last Updated: Feb. 06, 2024