When Can I Buy Health Insurance?
Generally, Open Enrollment for the federal marketplace starts November 1st and runs through December 15th. Open enrollment is the time of year when individuals and families can buy health insurance for the following year. If you did not sign up for health insurance during open enrollment, you must qualify for a special enrollment.
In 2021, the Biden administration opened a special election period through August 15th due to the Coronavirus pandemic. During this time, anyone can buy new health insurance or update their existing plans.
Many people do not know you can have a licensed insurance agent to help you enroll at no cost. A local agent can help review plans, networks, help find doctors look up prescriptions and answer any questions you might have.
Special Enrollment Periods
If you need health insurance outside of open enrollment, you may qualify for a SEP or Special Enrollment Period. Certain life events allow you to enroll in health insurance outside of open enrollment. Some of these qualifying life events include marriage, birth of a child, divorce, death, loss of creditable coverage, or moving out of your current plan’s coverage area.
A special enrollment period usually lasts 60 days before or after the qualifying event. You can contact a broker if you need assistance in knowing if you qualify for a special enrollment period. Our advisors can also help you upload any necessary documents to prove your special enrollment period.
Transitional/Short Term Plans
There are many other plans that you can apply for outside of open enrollment. Short term or transitional plans can fill the gaps between plans if you missed open enrollment and do not qualify for a special enrollment period. You can also apply for critical Illness, accident, hospital and disability plan that can help pay out of pocket costs if you are hurt or sick.
Medicaid and Chip (Children’s Health Insurance Plans) are also available for people at certain income levels. Our licensed advisors are available to point you in the right direction and make sure you apply for the right type of plan.
If you have any questions about what you qualify for, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our advisors. For more information about health insurance, you can also check out our guide on Understanding Your Health Insurance.