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Qualifying Events: How to Enroll in Dental Coverage Outside of Open Enrollment

January 23, 2019

Many individuals have employer-sponsored or government-sponsored dental benefits. And with open enrollment regulations, there’s only one short window a year to adjust benefits. However, there are exceptions to the open enrollment period that can make you eligible for special enrollment.


A qualifying event changes your life situation and makes you eligible to enroll or adjust dental coverage outside the annual open enrollment period. There are 4 basic types of qualifying events (not a full list):

Loss of health coverage

  • Losing existing health coverage, including job-based, individual, and student plans
  • Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, NJ FamilyCare, or Husky Healthcare Connecticut
  • Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan

Changes in household

  • Getting married or divorced
  • Having a baby or adopting a child
  • Death in the family

Changes in residence

  • Moving to a different ZIP code or county
  • A student moving to or from the place they attend school
  • A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they both live and work
  • Moving to or from a shelter or other transitional housing

Other qualifying events

  • Changes in your income that affect the coverage you qualify for
  • Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen
  • Leaving incarceration (jail or prison)
  • AmeriCorps members starting or ending their service

Employment-based plans require you to give notice within 30 days of the event. Government-sponsored plans typically allow up to 60 days to give notice.

Have questions? Contact us before or immediately after your qualifying life event to prevent any delays in coverage. Already a Delta Dental of New Jersey/Connecticut member? Sign in to view your coverage.