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SEP Reference Charts

Guides to Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Triggers and Timing

Updated October 2020 

The Marketplace open enrollment period is the regular time each year when people can newly enroll in a qualified health plan or change to a different plan through the Marketplace. But certain events that occur during the year can trigger a special enrollment period (SEP), when a person may be able to newly enroll in a Marketplace plan or change to a different plan.

This SEP Reference Chart is a tool for those who are helping people enroll in health coverage through a special enrollment period. It focuses on the circumstances that trigger a SEP in the Marketplace, who can trigger a SEP, and the effective date of coverage once a health plan is selected.


Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic crisis that came about as a result, this abbreviated SEP Reference Chart provides a list of the most common SEPs used during this time.


A change to the HealthCare.gov application implements the “FEMA SEP” to allow people who missed their 60-day SEP window, to enroll in Marketplace coverage. This fact sheet explains what the FEMA SEP is and how it works.


Additional Resources

Webinar: Special Enrollment Periods | View webinar

Minimum Essential Coverage Reference Chart | View chart