What is a “Special Enrollment Period”?

Some people may be able to enroll in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan
n if the Open Enrollment period is closed. Examples are if you:

  • get married or had a baby or adopted a child,
  • had a change in immigration status,
  • were recently released from jail,
  • lost health insurance, but not if loss is due to unpaid premiums or voluntarily dropping COBRA.
Note for Parents:

Children under age 26 are allowed to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan; however, if they are going to school or live out-of-state, there may be other options available that provide better coverage in the state where they live. Most health insurance plans have a provider network that is limited to a specific geographical area and therefore may not provide coverage in the state your child is living in. 

Many Mainers qualify for help paying for health insurance through the Marketplace.

Marketplace health insurance is available to people and families who are not offered affordable coverage through work or who don’t qualify for public programs such as MaineCare or Medicare.

Open Enrollment for private Marketplace insurance opens on November 1st and closes January 15. If you do not enroll in a Marketplace plan during Open Enrollment, you may not be able to buy health coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

You can apply for Marketplace health coverage at or by calling 1-866-636-0355 (TTY 711).

Make sure you are visiting, as there are other healthcare websites trying to sell plans that don’t cover the ten essential health benefits

Most Mainers are eligible for financial help when shopping at Assistance is based on your income and family size. Some Mainers are eligible for low-cost or even no-cost coverage! To estimate the financial assistance you may qualify for, we recommend using the Plan Compare Tool at

Need Help? You can call Maine’s Consumer Assistance HelpLine at Consumers for Affordable Health Care. 1.800.965.7476 or find local, in person help by visiting the How to Get Help page.

Below you can also find more information on:

NOTE that Medicare plans and plans offered through employers may have different open enrollment periods.