On average, nearly 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute in the United States. This equates to almost 10 million people each year suffering domestic abuse. The sad reality is that many people in this situation feel like there’s no way out. And feel that they can’t manage alone or start fresh because their partner controls every part of their lives. But it is possible to seek help and start a new life, despite the incredible stress of taking that step forward.
If you’re worried about starting over, it might be helpful to know that you can enroll in a health insurance plan when leaving a domestic abuse situation. Meaning you’ll have one less thing to stress about.
A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) is a 60-day window when people can sign up for new health insurance coverage (or change existing coverage) outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Various situations (known as qualifying life events) can trigger a SEP, including leaving a domestic violence situation.
Since 2015, victims of domestic violence and spousal abandonment can apply for health insurance at any point during the year. Not only that, but they will face fewer restrictions than they would with a regular Special Enrollment Period. This SEP is available to both men and women and does not require documentation.
Domestic Violence As a Qualifying Life Event
How do you qualify for this SEP? According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), experiencing any of the following will open up a Special Enrollment Period:
- Physical abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse, including efforts by the perpetrator to control, isolate, humiliate, intimidate, or undermine your ability to reason independently
- Spousal abandonment, which means you are unable to locate your spouse after trying diligently and “taking all facts and circumstances into account”
If you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. And if you are looking to find your own health insurance plan, call the healthcare.gov call center hotline at (800) 318-2596. Tell the representative about your domestic violence or spousal abandonment situation, so you can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. After you are granted a SEP, you have 60 days to enroll in a plan. Once you’re ready to take that step and look for a plan of your own, come to EZ.Insure. We offer a wide range of health insurance plans from top-rated insurance companies in every state. And because we work with so many companies, and can offer all of the plans available in your area. We can find you a plan that saves you a lot of money – even hundreds of dollars – even if you don’t qualify for a subsidy. There is no obligation, or hassle, just free quotes on all available plans in your area. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local agent, call 888-350-1890.