You are here

Qualifying Life Events

A qualifying life event is a major life-changing situation — sometimes planned, sometimes unexpected — that can impact you and your health insurance. Experiencing a significant life change may allow you to change your health plan outside of the annual enrollment period (also called open enrollment).  

When it is outside the open enrollment period, many insurance companies will allow an individual to enroll in a health insurance plan using a Qualifying Event process.  Typically, enrollment using a Qualifying Event must be done within 30 days of the event. Documentation will be required. 

Some examples of Qualifying Life Events include:

  • Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan

  • Losing existing health coverage under another plan, including job-based, individual, and student plans

  • Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

  • Losing existing health coverage as a dependent on a family member’s plan through divorce, death, job loss

  • Eligible student actively enrolled arriving to the US from another country mid-semester

Graduate Students at the University of Maryland who experience a Qualifying Life Event have the option to enroll in the University’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).  Please consult the Academic HealthPlans (AHP) website at to learn about SHIP. To enroll in SHIP using the Qualifying Event Process, click on the “Enrollment” tab and scroll to the middle of the page.  

AHP provides this useful guide: “Am I eligible for a Qualifying Event?.” 

Contact Information

The Graduate School, University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742