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Special Enrollment - Losing Job-Related Health Plan

If your job no longer covers you, you might be able to get a new health plan. You may qualify to buy a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) health plan during the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If not, you may have other choices.

SEP Qualifying Life Event and Documentation

You could lose your job-related health plan for many reasons. These are called qualifying life events and may be:

  • Work hours getting lowered that leads to benefit cuts
  • Getting laid off
  • Quitting
  • COBRA coverage ending


You'll need to send in documents, or proof, showing your life event date. This may be a company letter or other job records. View a full list of required documents PDF Document.

Your New Health Plan Options

Based on your age and income, you may be able to enroll in a:

  • BCBSMT Individual health plan for yourself or family – If you’re under age 65, our plans have three levels of coverage. They all offer essential health benefits and a range of out-of-pocket costs. Understand health care plans and review plan levels and costs.
  • BCBSMT Medicare health plan - Medicare is most often offered at age 65 and is made up of four parts. The federal government gives you Part A at no cost when you sign up for Social Security. You can then buy more coverage to build on to your Part A benefits. Learn how Medicare works and review Blue Cross Medicare OptionsSM.
  • Medicaid health plan - If you don’t qualify for SEP or Medicare, you may qualify for Medicaid Learn more about third-party links, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or other assistance based on your income1.

Getting a New Health Plan

Each type of health plan has dates, deadlines and information for you to review.

Health Plan
Health Plan
Health Plan

In most cases, you'll have 60 days (counting weekends and holidays) from your qualifying life event's date.

However, losing a job-related health plan may let you buy a health plan up to 60 days before losing your job-related coverage.

Initial Enrollment Period
This is 7 months – the 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday and the 3 months after your birthday.

Annual Enrollment Period
Most often runs October 15 through December 7 each year.

There's no SEP, so you can apply at any time.

Note: Members of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes can apply for health care coverage any month of the year.

Buying Your Health Plan
Financial Help

See if you qualify for a subsidy, also called a premium tax credit.

Learn if you qualify to lower prescription costs Learn more about third-party links.

Check your state agency's website for details.

We’re Here to Help

We can help you and your family stay covered. You can always use these phone numbers to call us with health plan questions:

  • BCBCSMT Individual health plan licensed sales representatives: 1-866-834-3854
  • Medicare health plans: 1-888-403-6430 TTY 711

1BCBSMT does not make Medicaid eligibility determinations or take Medicaid applications.