How to Change Your Health Insurance Plan

How to Change Your Health Insurance Plan

Things in life are always changing. No worries. We’re here to make things easier.

Nothing about health is set in stone, including insurance needs. So, what happens if you’re enrolled in a health plan, but later realize your needs – or the needs of your family – have changed?

Here’s what you need to know:

How can you change your health insurance plan?

There are two periods of time when you can change your health insurance plan. These two periods are called special enrollment and open enrollment.

  • Special enrollment is a period of time outside annual open enrollment when you can sign up for a health insurance plan.
  • Open enrollment is a period of time that allows you to sign up for health insurance plans – usually once a year. 
How did you enroll in your health insurance plan?

The way you originally enrolled in your health insurance plan will affect the way you change it.

  • Did you enroll through your employer on the Health Insurance Marketplace?
  • Or did you enroll directly with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT)?

If you enrolled through the Health Insurance Marketplace or directly with BCBSMT you have an individual or family plan. Open enrollment for individual and family plans begins Nov. 1 every year. However, if you’ve experienced a qualifying life event, you may be able to change your health insurance plan during the special enrollment period. 

  • Go to leaving site icon or call them at 800-318-2596 if you purchased your Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan on the Marketplace.
  • Go to or call our enrollment team at 855-591-1515 to learn your options for special enrollment if you purchased your plan directly through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana.

Finally, if you enrolled through your employer, you have a group plan or group coverage. Group plans set their own schedule for open enrollment and special enrollment. To change your health insurance plan, you’ll have to call your company’s human resource department or the number on the back of your member ID card. They can give you specific details about your open enrollment and special enrollment periods.

In every case, you won’t be able to change your health insurance plan unless you’re in an open enrollment period or you’ve experienced a qualifying life event outside the open enrollment period.

Think you qualify for special enrollment?
Review the special enrollment qualifications, answer a few questions and start shopping for a planleaving site icon 

What is changing in YOUR life? Tell us about it in the comments.

Originally published 8/18/2015; Revised 2018, 2023