The next open enrollment period for Marketplace coverage begins on Nov. 1, 2015, for coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2016. Some people can sign up for health coverage outside of open enrollment, before Nov. 1, because they qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP). A consumer can qualify for a SEP for such circumstances as loss of health coverage, losing Medicaid eligibility, changes in family status (for example, marriage or birth of a child), or other exceptional circumstances.

Nearly 950,000 new consumers selected a plan through the platform using a SEP between Feb. 23 and June 30, 2015.

“Life changes are often impossible to predict, but access to affordable and quality health care coverage should never be. So far this year, nearly 950,000 people have gained the peace of mind that comes with access to coverage by taking advantage of a special enrollment period, providing us with further evidence that the Health Insurance Marketplace is working for America’s families,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplace.

“We want people to know that if they lose a job, get married, have a baby, or experience other life changes, we’re here to help them find coverage they can afford.”

Between Feb. 23 and June 30, 2015, 944,000 new consumers made plan selections through using a SEP. Eighty-four percent of plan selections occurred via three types of SEPs: 50 percent of plan selections occurred via SEPs for the loss of health coverage or “minimum essential coverage,” 19 percent occurred via SEPs for being determined ineligible for Medicaid, and 15 percent were as a result of tax season SEP. The remaining 16 percent of plan selections were attributable to other types of SEPs.

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