Confused about what to do during Open Enrollment? This short, informational video will explain the basics and help you get the most out of the annual Open Enrollment period.
What is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is the only time of year that you can make changes to your Health Plan, or purchase a new Health Insurance Plan outside of a Qualifying Life Event.
If your insurance is available through your job, then your employer will provide you with the dates of their Open Enrollment period, which may differ from these listed below. Consult your HR person for your specific dates.
Dates for Open Enrollment for those purchasing Individual Health Insurance plans from the Marketplace:
- November 1, 2015: Open Enrollment starts — this is the first day you can enroll in a 2016 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2016.
- December 15, 2015: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start January 1, 2016.
- January 1, 2016: 2016 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by December 15.
- January 15, 2016: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start February 1, 2016
- January 31, 2016: 2016 Open Enrollment ends. Enrollments or changes between January 16 and January 31 take effect March 1, 2016.
If you don’t enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan by January 31, 2016, you can’t enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period with a Qualifying Life Event.
What is a Qualifying Life Event?
A Qualifying Life Event (QLE) qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period, which is a time outside of the normal open enrollment period during which you and your family have a right to sign up for health coverage. In the Marketplace, you qualify for a special enrollment period 60 days following certain life events that involve a change in family status (for example, marriage or birth of a child) or loss of other health coverage. Job-based plans must provide a special enrollment period of 30 days.
For more information, or to shop for individual insurance, click here to access our fast and free Health Insurance Plan quoting tool, and get access to all the plans and pricing available to you.