Can You Use a Zip Code Change as a QLE for ACA Health Insurance?

If you missed the annual Open Enrollment Period for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance, you may be wondering if there’s any way to get coverage outside of the designated enrollment period. One potential option is to use a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) to trigger a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

What Are Qualifying Life Events (QLEs)?

QLEs are specific life events that allow you to enroll in or change your health insurance plan outside of the Open Enrollment Period. Common QLEs include:

Losing health insurance coverage: This could happen if you lose your job, your employer stops offering health insurance, or your previous plan is canceled.
Getting married or divorced: This can impact your eligibility for employer-sponsored plans or Medicaid.
Having a baby or adopting a child: This can trigger a need for additional coverage for the new family member.
Moving to a new state or county: This may affect your eligibility for certain health insurance plans or providers.

Can a Zip Code Change Be a QLE?

No, moving to a different zip code within the same state is not considered a QLE. QLEs typically involve significant life changes that impact your health insurance coverage. A zip code change, on its own, does not meet this criteria.

If you missed the Open Enrollment Period and need health insurance, you have a few options:

Enroll in a short-term health insurance plan: These plans offer temporary coverage for less than a year.
Seek coverage through a Medicaid or CHIP program: These programs provide health insurance to low-income individuals and families.
Consider a COBRA continuation plan: If you lost employer-sponsored health insurance, you may qualify for COBRA, which allows you to continue your coverage for a limited period.

Keep in mind that these options may come with higher premiums or limited coverage compared to ACA health insurance plans. If you’re unsure about your options, it’s recommended to contact a licensed insurance agent or visit for more information.

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