Open Enrollment Health Insurance

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What is Open Enrollment for Health Insurance?

Whether you are covered by an employer’s plan or purchase one through a marketplace set up for the Affordable Care Act there is a period of time every year that is known as open enrollment. Health insurance purchases, changes in policy options and additions that take place during this period are not subject to qualifying questions. Generally, the health plan must insure you.

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Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment in the ACA Marketplace

Enroll for health insurance during this period, change plans or add coverages and your insurance begins in January of the following year.

ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment Periods

Currently there are 15 states that extend their open enrollment periods while 37 share a common time for new enrollment for health insurance and policy changes.

In general the period runs for 6 weeks beginning in November with coverage beginning in January of the following year. Medicare, employer based and individual market health insurance have health insurance open enrollment periods that differ.


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At ConsumerCoverage we can help explore the options available as you enroll for health insurance for the coming year. What plans are available for individuals, families and what things are covered and are not? Make an informed decision that suits your current situation.

Remember open enrollment for health insurance is a yearly option, so if you’re current plan needs changing, you can.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION - FAQs

Medicaid, CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Plans), short term insurance and Health care sharing plans can be applied for at any time.
There is a special enrollment period for health insurance option that will allow application but there are certain qualifications which must be met. Like marriage, birth of a child, job change or a move.
The open enrollment for health insurance is from November 1 to Dec 15th in 37 states. Fifteen states have extended their enrollment period to January 31st for coverage in 2021.
The ACA provides State Marketplaces and other means of buying health insurance for individuals and families during this period when you enroll for health insurance. ConsumerCoverage.com can show you your options.
For a 60 day period after a qualifying event health insurance special enrollment is available. The qualifying events include a move out of your current insurance coverage area, birth of a child, job change or marriage.

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Qualify For Health Insurance Special Enrollment

There are certain instances when you may fail to abide by the Open Enrollment Period. That’s okay. The Special Enrollment Period [SEP] is a time outside the Open Enrollment that allows you to claim a health insurance plan. 

Certain criteria determine your eligibility under this distinctive treatment: 

Moving from one state to another
Starting a family - giving birth to a child or adoption
Getting married
Losing health coverage on accounts of:
  • - Being laid off/quitting a job
  • - Aging off parent's health plan
  • - Expiring COBRA coverage
  • - Divorce