Open enrollment is a window of time each year when individuals and families who do not have employer sponsored coverage can enroll in, or make changes to their health insurance coverage.
Outside of the annual open enrollment period, individuals cannot make changes to their health insurance elections during the year unless they qualify for special enrollment periods (SEPs) due to a qualifying life event such as marriage, graduation, or changes in employment status. Open enrollment, or OE, typically runs from the late fall until mid-December, though it can vary by state. For those looking to update or modify their coverage for 2019, the open enrollment period begins on November 1st and continues until December 15th. This is the time when those looking for healthcare should conduct research and decide what healthcare plan fits best for you as an individual or for your family. Plans sold during the open enrollment period begin offering coverage on January 1, 2019. For more information on open enrollment deadlines and general information please visit Healthcare.gov.
Thanks to the ACA, insurers are now barred from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions as well as other factors like race, gender or age. We encourage you to research your healthcare option thoroughly. Recently, new insurance products such as - short term plans and association health plans, that do not have to comply with the ACA’s non-discrimination rules, have proliferated. These plans can offer cheaper premiums, but may not cover many of your most basic healthcare needs like prescription drugs, emergency room services, maternity benefits or preventive screenings and can charge higher out of pocket costs. You can find more information about threats to coverage here.
Don’t forget the open enrollment period for healthcare coverage begins on November 1st and continues until December 15th. Please don’t miss out on your chance to enroll or update your coverage. If you have specific questions regarding deadlines or what healthcare options are available to you please visit Healthcare.gov.