Despite open enrollment for Affordable Care Act plans not starting until November 15, a new report estimates that nearly 7 million adults may be able to enroll through special enrollment periods.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Americans ages 18-64 who experience a qualifying life event may be eligible for a special enrollment period, outside the regular open enrollment period. Those life events include moving, getting married, having a child, or gaining citizenship.

Enroll America, a pro-Obamacare enrollment group, said in a report released Wednesday that using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010-2012 American Community Survey and previous studies, that nationally, almost 7 million are likely to experience a qualifying life event — 2.7 million of whom are currently uninsured, and 4 million of whom have insurance but will lose coverage over the course of the year.

Of the 2.7 million uninsured, Enroll America estimates their qualifying life event would include:

  • Moving to a new county: 1.8 million
  • Getting married: 532,000
  • Giving birth or adopting a child: 471,000
  • Gaining citizenship: 60,000

Enroll America says moving is the most common life event that may qualify an uninsured individual for special enrollment, since the uninsured are more likely to move than the general population.
“Even though millions of Americans got covered before open enrollment closed earlier this year, we’re not resting on our laurels since seven million consumers might have the opportunity to get covered even now through a special enrollment period,” says Anne Filipic, Enroll America president. “This new report makes clear just how important it is to make sure uninsured consumers around the country know that if they experience a qualifying life event like moving, getting married, or losing their health coverage, they may be able to find quality, affordable insurance right away.”

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