New Data: Almost 7 Million Americans Nationwide Can Get Covered Through a Special Enrollment Period

New Enroll America Report Finds 2.7 Million Uninsured Will Experience a Life Event Allowing Them to Enroll Before November, in Addition to 4 Million Who Will be Eligible to Replace Lost Coverage

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace doesn’t start again until November 15, but a new report shows that millions of consumers will be eligible to sign up before then. Today, Enroll America, the nation’s largest health care enrollment coalition, released a detailed analysis revealing that almost 7 million adults – including 2.7 million who are currently uninsured – may be eligible to enroll in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace through a special enrollment period. The report details that those consumers will likely experience a qualifying life event—such as moving, getting married, giving birth, losing other insurance, or gaining citizenship—that triggers a special enrollment period, allowing them to get covered before open enrollment begins on November 15, 2014.

“Even though millions of Americans got covered before open enrollment closed earlier this year, we’re not resting on our laurels since seven million consumers might have the opportunity to get covered even now through a special enrollment period,” said Anne Filipic, President of Enroll America “This new report makes clear just how important it is to make sure uninsured consumers around the country know that if they experience a qualifying life event like moving, getting married, or losing their health coverage, they may be able to find quality, affordable insurance right away.”

When the historic first open enrollment period ended on March, 31, 2014, over eight million Americans had enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Some of those who missed the deadline and remain uninsured now have the opportunity to get covered through a special enrollment period if they experience a qualifying life event—like moving, getting married, having a child, or gaining citizenship. Insured individuals who lose their coverage—for example, through losing a job or getting a divorce—may also qualify for a special enrollment period.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010-2012 American Community Survey and previous studies, Enroll America estimates that, nationally, almost 7 million Americans ages 18-64 are likely to experience a qualifying life event that could make them eligible for a special enrollment period—2.7 million of whom are currently uninsured, and 4 million of whom have insurance but will lose coverage over the course of the year.

The 2.7 million uninsured will likely experience one of four common life events:

  • Moving to a new county: 1.8 million
  • Getting married: 532,000
  • Giving birth or adopting a child: 471,000
  • Gaining citizenship: 60,000

Moving is the most common life event that may qualify an uninsured individual for special enrollment, since the uninsured are more likely to move than the general population. The data takes into account that some individuals may experience two events at the same time, making the total number of estimated eligible individuals slightly lower than the total of those four categories. There are also two additional qualifying events that uninsured populations may qualify for: immigrants who gained permanent resident status, and inmates released from prison. While these groups are disproportionately uninsured, these figures are separated from the total estimate because there is no available data to determine their insurance status and marketplace eligibility varies by state and income level.

You can read the full report and methodology HERE.


About Get Covered America and Enroll America

Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in 11 states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN, and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about the new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. 

For more information on Enroll America and its efforts, visit

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