When is Open Enrollment for Health Insurance?

What is Open Enrollment?

An open enrollment period is a period of time once a year, usually in the fall, during which you can sign up for health insurance, make changes to your current plan, or cancel it. It normally lasts only a few weeks. You may have to wait until the next open enrollment period to make any adjustments if you miss it.

What kinds of insurance policies make use of open enrollment?

You will have an open enrollment period if you get health insurance through your employer, Medicare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace.

How to Get the Most Out of Open Enrollment

Consider the following factors before deciding on a health insurance plan:

  • Last year, how much did you spend on health care (what were your premium, deductible, and out-of-pocket expenses)?
  • Is the amount you/your family spend on health care in accordance with your needs?
  • Is your doctor or clinic part of the network?
  • Are your prescription drugs covered?

When does the ACA open enrollment period begin?


Some state-based marketplaces, as well as federal-based marketplaces, may have different open enrollment dates and special enrollment periods for ACA plans. In most areas, open enrollment for UnitedHealthcare Individual and Family Marketplace plans (ACA plans) runs from November 1 through January 15.

Learn more about UnitedHealthcare’s Marketplace plans for individuals and families.

If I have health insurance via my job, when is open enrollment?

If you get health insurance via your job, the open enrollment period is determined by them. It’s usually in the fall so that you can start receiving benefits at the start of the calendar year. During open enrollment, choosing a healthcare plan for the coming year is a crucial decision. Before you join, spend some time researching your options to help you decide which coverage is best for you.

Learn about health insurance open enrollment at work.

When can I sign up for Medicare?

Are you approaching 65 or planning to retire soon? It may be time to make a decision about your Medicare coverage. There are a variety of Medicare enrollment periods to choose from. The Annual Enrollment Period is an important Medicare enrollment period for altering your coverage (AEP).

Every year, from October 15 to December 7, this occurs. You can join, switch, or drop a plan during AEP. Your existing plan will automatically renew the next year if you don’t make any changes during AEP.

Find out how Medicare works.

Do you need assistance choosing a Medicare plan?

Is there a time when you can sign up for Medicaid?

Medicaid, a federal program, was created to assist low-income people in obtaining health insurance.

Medicaid programs, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program, do not have an open enrollment period (CHIP).


Medicaid serves all low-income adults below a particular income level in several states. Medicaid covers the following people in every state:

  • Children and families from low-income families
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Senior citizens
  • Individuals with disabilities

To apply, contact the state agency in charge of the Medicaid program in your state. Use the search tool at UHCCommunityPlan.com if you have any queries or want to discover what health plans UnitedHealthcare Community Plan has in your area.

Find out how Medicaid works.

When does a Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan’s open enrollment period begin?

You may be qualified for a Dual Special Needs Plan, or D-SNP if you have both Medicaid and Medicare insurance. Those eligible for this sort of Medicare Advantage plan can change plans at any time throughout the year, not just during open enrollment.

Find out if you’re qualified for a dual-eligible plan.

Obtain assistance with enrolling in a D-SNP plan.

Is it possible to make adjustments after the open enrollment period has ended? What is a life event that qualifies as a qualifying life event?

Normally, once you’ve chosen your benefit selections, you’ll have to wait until the next open enrollment period to make modifications.

However, this is not always the case. You’ve probably heard the phrase “qualifying life events.” These are occurrences in your life that allow you to adjust your benefits outside of the open enrollment period.

Learn more about what qualifies as a qualified life event.

What if I miss the open enrollment deadline?

You can acquire short-term health insurance if you need coverage during a time when annual open enrollment isn’t accessible and you haven’t had a Qualifying Life Event. Short-term health insurance might cover medical expenses for a limited time.

My State’s Open Enrollment Deadline Passed Me By. Is it Still Possible for Me to Obtain Healthcare Coverage?

If you missed your state’s enrollment deadline, you may still be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that allows you to apply for health insurance. If you have had a qualifying life event, you may be eligible for a SEP. The following are examples of qualifying life events:

  • The loss of health insurance as a result of losing a job.
  • Marriage, divorce, a family death, or the birth of a child are all examples of household transitions.
    Your home address has changed.

A list of qualifying life events can be found here. If you qualify for a SEP, you have 60 days to enrol in a plan. If you miss the 60-day window, you’ll have to wait until the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) to sign up for an individual health insurance policy for 2022.


You can apply for a short-term health insurance plan if you missed your state’s Open Enrollment Period in 2021 and do not qualify for a SEP. Outside of OEP, you can obtain short-term health insurance for up to 364 days, and you can reapply for short-term coverage for up to 36 months in most states.

Short-term health insurance policies, which do not cover pre-existing diseases like Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, maybe an excellent, temporary fit for healthy people.

If you don’t qualify for a SEP and don’t want to register for a short-term health plan, you’ll have to wait until Fall 2021 for Open Enrollment 2022.

HealthMarkets can assist you in determining whether you are eligible for a SEP and in locating an individual health plan that satisfies your requirements. Online, you can shop, compare, and enroll in a health plan, or you can phone us at (800) 304-3414 to do so.

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