Do I have a Qualifying Life Event?

by Wendy Barnett

Are you moving, planning on moving, or have you recently moved?

Qualifying Life Events (QLE) are big life occurrences called triggering life events that allow you to enroll in individual or family health insurance outside of the Open Enrollment Period. There is a whole list of life events that can be applicable, but this article will cover moving.

You may have a QLE if you have recently moved to California and sometimes if you have moved within California. Here are the important guidelines:

  • The date of the permanent move must have occurred within the last 60 days
  • You moved to California from out of state
  • You moved within California AND gained access to at least one new Covered California health insurance plan
  • You must be able to provide verification to prove your permanent move and date if requested

It is important to know that Covered CA does require a random selection of applicants who enroll during Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to provide verification documents for their qualifying life event.

How do I establish my permanent move date?

For some people, moving occurs in stages and not on one specific day, so it may be hard to pin down the actual date of your permanent move.  In this situation, it can be helpful to review Covered California’s list of SEP verification documents. See the section that pertains to moving below. Covered CA allows you to provide any one of the following verification documents to prove your permanent move date.

What about moving within California?

Moving within California can only count as a QLE if your new residence area offers you at least one new Covered CA health plan. To find this out all you need to do is to compare quotes using your 2 zip codes – the one from your old address and the one from your new address. If one new health plan is offered in you new area, your move can count as a life event! Just make sure to apply within 60 days.

What if my move does not count as a QLE?

  • If you don’t have a QLE you can enroll during the next Open Enrollment in the fall of each year
  • If your income is low, you may qualify for Medi-Cal which is open for enrollment year round

Need help?

The rules surrounding health insurance enrollment times can be confusing. For assistance with quotes and questions about applying during Special Enrollment Period, call one of our Certified Covered California Agents at (877)752-4737.


Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.

Covered California is the Golden State’s official health exchange marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find high-quality, low-cost California government health insurance.

Learn about Obamacare income guidelines in California using our income limits chart, and see if you’re eligible for government assistance.

Learn about the Covered California website. Find easy online enrollment. Set up your account, log in, buy insurance and more on the California health marketplace website.