• For some, open enrollment is a time of year to look forward to. During open enrollment we can make changes to benefit plans, add members to our plan, take some off or do away with it all together. It is possible to get around open enrollment, but only under certain exceptions.

    Getting Married or Divorced

    Getting married or divorced is one time in which most insurance companies will make exceptions to waiting for open enrollment. You can make changes to beneficiaries and do a number of things, including adding or deleting your spouse during this time. You must be able to show proof of marriage or divorce. Establishing civil or domestic partnership does not count under this exception since it cannot be as easily proved.

    Death in Family

    Report a death in the family. If a member of your insurance plan passes away during the benefit year the insurance company can reopen your policy so that can make changes to reflect this change in your life. If your mother-in-law passes away, this does not count as an exception to open enrollment unless you managed to include her on your health insurance plan.

    Have a Child

    The birth of a child is another exception to open enrollment health insurance requirements. Once you are able to prove the birth of your child you can make changes to your insurance policy for a short time.

    Lose Job

    Losing your job is one way to become eligible for an exception to open enrollment. If you lose your job and your medical insurance with it, you can elect to get around your spouse's open enrollment plan and sign up under their health plan. Job loss and loss of health coverage must be documented to bypass open enrollment with this exception.


    Benefit Plan: Exceptions to Open Enrollment

    Plan for Your Health: Get the Open Enrollment Edge

    More Information:

    SmartMoney: Open Enrollment: How to Save in 2010

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