Open enrollment is a time period when it is open for everyone to enroll in a health care coverage plan. During this time, anyone has the ability to get coverage for themselves and their families for the next year. The signup period that takes place in 2020, for example, will obtain coverage for all of 2021. This time of the year is important because it is the only period where most people have the ability to adjust their plans. Unless you have a serious life event that qualifies you for special enrollment, then this is the only window to address these needs.
This period is also important for citizens who already have coverage. If you have a current plan, then you need to review it and re-enroll for the next year. This applies even if you wish to keep your current plan. Health insurance is vital to keeping you and your family well without draining your savings if there is an accident. To incentivize citizens to obtain some form of coverage, the government also issues penalties if you don’t have coverage. Schools and universities also require their students to have coverage before enrolling in classes. This plan, sponsored by healthcare.gov, is the best option for anyone who doesn’t already have coverage through an employer. The plans are becoming more popular every year. Over 11 million people enrolled during the 2018 to 2020 Open Enrollment Period.
The open enrollment period to get coverage for 2021 is November 1, 2020, through December 15, 2020. This is the period when most Americans sign up for their Obamacare plan. If you are unable or unwilling to enroll by December 15, you won’t be able to get coverage for 2021 unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.
If you are unable to enroll in a healthcare coverage plan during the open enrollment, you will generally have to wait until the next enrollment period to be eligible to apply. The exception to this rule is if you are eligible for a special enrollment period. These periods are granted to people who are experiencing significant life events that drastically change their coverage needs.
You need to decide what plan works best for your needs. You will have to decide on your optimal balance of premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
If you have experienced specific life events, then you may be eligible for special enrollment. Some of the events that qualify include:
If you are starting a new job and your employer provides health coverage, then they will be able to enroll you in their plans at that time. You will have the choice to continue your current coverage or change to the employer’s plan. Deciding if you qualify for this special case will be something to discuss with the Human Resources department of your new employer.