If you’re like most people, you probably spend a decent amount of time considering your health insurance options each year. Figuring out when you can enroll can be a bit of a mystery if you’ve never done it before. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate open enrollment like a pro.
When is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is the annual period when you can sign up for health insurance or change your current plan. The dates vary depending on the state you live in and the type of health insurance you have. Typically, open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace starts on November 1st and ends on December 15th each year. However, some states extend the deadline to January 15th.
How to know when your state’s open enrollment period is?
Each state has its own open enrollment period that may differ from the Health Insurance Marketplace dates. You can check your state’s health insurance department website or also check with your insurance company or employer to get exact dates for open enrollment.
Why Is Open Enrollment Important?
Open enrollment is essential because it is the only time of year when most people can purchase or make changes to their health insurance plan. If you miss the open enrollment period, you may not be able to enroll until the following year, which could leave you without coverage when you need it most.
What can you do during Open Enrollment?
Enroll in a new plan
If you don’t currently have health insurance coverage, you can enroll in a plan during open enrollment. Be sure to explore all options available to find a plan that fits your budget and healthcare needs.
Change your existing plan
If you currently have health insurance but are unhappy with your coverage, now is the time to explore other options. You can switch to a different plan, which may offer better benefits or be more affordable.
Add or remove dependents
You can add or remove dependents from your health insurance plan during open enrollment. This is especially important if you’ve had a life event, such as a marriage or birth of a child.
Review your coverage
Open enrollment is an excellent opportunity to review your health insurance coverage to make sure it still meets your needs. Are you taking any new medications? Do you need a different network of healthcare providers? Reviewing your coverage annually can help you avoid any surprises when it comes to your healthcare costs.
How to enroll in a new health insurance plan during open enrollment?
Enrolling in a new health insurance plan is relatively easy if you follow the right steps. Here’s what you need to do:
Get the necessary information
Before you start shopping for a new plan, gather all the necessary information, including your current insurance policy, Social Security number, and home address.
Compare your options
Compare different health insurance options to find the one that meets your healthcare needs and fits your budget. Look at the plan’s premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs, as well as the list of covered services and prescription medications.
Apply for a plan
Once you’ve found a plan that you’re happy with, you can apply for it through the Health Insurance Marketplace or your state’s health insurance department website. Make sure you complete your application before the open enrollment deadline.
Pay your premiums
After you’ve enrolled in a new health insurance plan, make sure you pay your premiums on time each month to avoid having your coverage canceled.
What if you miss the Open Enrollment period?
If you miss the open enrollment deadline, you may have to wait until the next open enrollment period to sign up for health coverage. However, there are some exceptions. If you experience a qualifying life event, such as losing your current coverage or getting married, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period. This will allow you to enroll in a new health insurance plan outside of the open enrollment window.
Open enrollment is a critical time for anyone who needs health insurance coverage. If you’re unsure when your open enrollment period is, check with your state’s health insurance department or your insurance company. Remember, missing the open enrollment window can leave you without coverage, so be sure to act promptly when open enrollment comes around.
FAQs About Open Enrollment
- What Is the Open Enrollment Period?
- When Is the Open Enrollment Period?
- Can I Enroll in Health Insurance Outside of Open Enrollment?
- What Happens if I Don’t Enroll in Health Insurance During Open Enrollment?
- What Should I Do if I Have Questions About Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is the annual period when you can sign up for health insurance or change your current plan.
The dates vary depending on the state you live in and the type of health insurance you have. Typically, open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace starts on November 1st and ends on December 15th each year.
Generally, no, but there are some exceptions. If you experience a qualifying life event, such as losing your current coverage or getting married, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period.
If you miss the open enrollment deadline, you may have to wait until the next open enrollment period to sign up for health coverage unless you experience a qualifying life event.
Check with your state’s health insurance department, your insurance company, or a licensed insurance agent to get answers to your open enrollment questions.
- Kaiser Family Foundation. (2021, September 22). Health insurance marketplaces 2022 open enrollment dates. Health Insurance Marketplace. https://www.healthinsurance.org/obamacare/open-enrollment-for-obamacare/
- Healthcare.gov. (n.d.). Key dates for 2022 health insurance enrollment. Open Enrollment Period. https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-guide/dates-and-deadlines/