SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD

A new Special Enrollment Period (SEP) will be available starting February 15 – August 15, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means you can still apply for a 2021 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) Individual health plan for yourself and family during this time. You won’t need to provide proof of a qualifying life event if you buy a BCBSIL health plan during this SEP.

GET YOUR BCBSIL HEALTH PLAN

Take a look at the health plans in your area.

Apply for a Plan

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THIS NEW SEP

Here are some important things to know before buying your 2021 BCBSIL Individual health plan in this new SEP:

  • You won’t need to provide proof of a qualifying life event if you buy a BCBSIL health plan during this SEP.
  • Your BCBSIL plan’s effective date will automatically be the first of the month following the month you select your plan:
    • Example 1: If you buy your health plan between February 15-February 28, 2021 your effective date will be March 1, 2021.
    • Example 2: If you buy your health plan between March 1 - March 31, 2021, your effective date will be April 1, 2021.
    • Example 3: If you buy your health plan between April 1 – April 30, 2021, your effective date will be May 1, 2021.

Note: If you already have a BCBSIL health plan and have a qualifying life event, such as birth of a child, you can still make changes to your current plan. You’ll need to apply and provide proof of the qualified life event’s date. A birth certificate is a good example. View a full list of required documents PDF Document.

YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR A SUBSIDY

Good news! Health care coverage may now be more affordable than you think.

You can check to see if you qualify for a subsidy, also known as a premium tax credit, while applying during SEP. This credit may help you lower the amount you’ll pay for your monthly premium bill.

SEP QUALIFYING LIFE EVENTS

If you’re buying a BCBSIL health plan during the new SEP offered February 15 – August 15, 2021, you will not have to provide proof of a qualifying event. Your health care coverage will begin on the first of the month after you apply.

However, as a reminder, if you currently have a BCBSIL health plan, there are many kinds of life events that may qualify you to change your health plan’s effective date.

Major life changes:

  • You have or adopt a child or gain a dependent through a court-order
  • The policy holder passed away
  • You move to a new area that provides you different plans or isn't covered by your HMO network
  • You get married
  • You are no longer covered on a family member's policy because you turned 26
  • You have legally separated from or divorced your spouse

Employment or Financial changes:

  • You lose other health coverage due to job loss, a decrease in work hours, end of COBRA coverage or other reasons1
  • Your income or household status changes
  • Your employer offered to help with the cost of coverage (through an ICHRA or QSEHRA)

Other Qualifying events:

  • Your current health care coverage is ending on a date other than December 31st of the current plan year
  • You become a U.S. citizen2
  • You can prove that your health insurance company violated its contract with you
  • You become a member of an American Indian and Alaska Native tribe2
  • You experience an error or other issue when trying to enroll

View a full list of qualifying events Learn more about third-party links.

Not All Life Events Qualify

Remember, if you’re buying a health plan during the new SEP being offered February 15 – August 15, 2021, you will not have to provide proof of a qualifying event.

However, as a reminder, not all major life events will qualify you for an SEP outside of this new Special Enrollment Period.

Non-qualifying events may be:

  • Choosing not to get health care coverage from your job
  • Travel insurance expiring
  • Loss of a short-term or temporary health plan3
  • Gaining voluntary guardianship of a dependent (not authorized by a court)
  • Choosing to cancel your health plan before its renewal or end date
  • Loss of State or Federal health care coverage or assistance due to not supplying needed documents as proof
  • Ending participation in a Medical Cost Sharing Group

You can always call us at 1-800-538-8833 or use the contact form if you have questions or need help.

APPLYING DURING SEP

You have three ways to buy your plan during this new SEP

  • Online - You can buy your health plan on our website
  • Phone - Call 1-866-514-8044 to speak with a BCBSIL licensed sales representative
  • Agent – Work with an independent, authorized agent to sign you up

While your application is being reviewed, we’ll send you a letter if more documentation is needed. You’ll have 30 days from this letter’s date to reply.

OTHER HEALTH CARE COVERAGE OPTIONS

You may also qualify for Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or other assistance based on your income. These health care coverage options are provided by the government. There’s no SEP, so you can apply at any time. You may also qualify for financial help.

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

GET YOUR BCBSIL HEALTH PLAN

Take a look at the health care plans in your area.

Apply for a Plan


1Please note that the following are not considered loss of coverage: voluntarily canceling your health insurance plan, having your plan canceled because you did not pay your premiums or because your plan did not meet the requirements set by the Affordable Care Act for Minimum Essential Coverage.

2Only for health plans bought on the Marketplace.

3BCBSIL does not offer temporary or short-term plans. These plans may not provide the full benefits of a BCBSIL health plan, including essential health benefits.

Tab One Ask Question

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Ask a Sales Question

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Tab Two Request Brochure

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Request a Brochure

Please fill out the form below and we will send you information about our health insurance plans.

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Tab Three Request Agent

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Online Agent Request Form

Please fill out the form below and a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois authorized agent will contact you within 1 to 2 business days. They will schedule an appointment at a time and location that is convenient for you. There is no cost or obligation for this service.

Please select the product you are interested in
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Tab Four Call Us

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Need Assistance Shopping?

Sales Questions and Additional Plan Information:
1-866-514-8044
Calls may or may not be answered inside the United States.

Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. CT
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. CT
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. CT

Customer Service:
1-800-538-8833
Calls may or may not be answered inside the United States.

Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. CT
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT
Sunday: Closed

Already a member?
Call the Customer Service number on the back of your member ID card.

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