Enroll Anytime: Domestic Violence and Special Enrollment Periods


Life changes happen, and they will qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. There are some Special Enrollment Periods that are less typical, and the details are important! 

Survivors of domestic violence are eligible for enrollment in the Marketplace when they leave their batterer, regardless of the time of year. This special enrollment period is available to both men and women, and goes by the "honor system," meaning that no proof (like medical report or court documentation) has to be submitted. It is important that the individual uses the specific term survivor of domestic violence.

Not only are victims of domestic violence eligible for special enrollment periods, but they are also allowed to "break" a big rule that applies to most others. Normally, if you are married you must file joint taxes with your spouse to receive tax credits. Domestic violence survivors, however, are able to get tax credits even if they are filing taxes separately while still married. 

The exception allows people in these situations to still get help with health coverage without compromising their safety. In order to push the application through, the individual must mark on their application that they are not married.

Chart developed by the National Health Law Program and Community Catalyst

Chart developed by the National Health Law Program and Community Catalyst

If you are in a domestic violence situation, help is available. In Washtenaw County call (734) 995-5444 or visit safehousecenter.org. Anywhere else, call (800) 799-7233 (799-SAFE). 

Note also: For safety reasons, survivors of domestic violence may choose to use two addresses: a safe mailing address and a home address.  The home location should be where the applicant is living in order to access the correct health plans.

Have any tips or tricks to share about the Marketplace? Comment below so we can blog about them!

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