Open Enrollment for individual and family health insurance ended on January 31 of this year. So, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to your life circumstances or financial status, you won’t be able to make changes to your plan or enroll in a new health insurance plan until Open Enrollment begins again this fall.
How do you know if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period? Ask yourself whether your situation has changed with regard to the following areas:
- You have gotten married or divorced
- You have welcomed a new child into your family, through birth or adoption
- Your income has changed significantly – especially if you’re now eligible for Medi-Cal
- Your health insurance plan was canceled for any reason
- You have moved into the state of California
- You are a member of an American Indian or Eskimo tribe
- …. and a few other situations relating to a change in household or income level
Unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you must wait until Open Enrollment in the fall, to switch health insurance plans.
These dates do not apply to group health insurance plans, which are provided through employers. Those plans are not subject to enrollment periods.
Open Enrollment begins November 1 of this year, and runs through January 31, 2018. However, if you want your insurance coverage to begin on January 1 of next year, you need to enroll in the plan of your choice by December 15, 2017. If you wait until January to select a policy, your plan won’t begin until February 1 if you apply by January 15, or March 1 if you apply between January 16 and 31.
It’s important to note that the Open Enrollment period is the same for all plans provided through Covered California, as well as all carriers not providing insurance through the exchange. So for those of you who aren’t sure which direction you want to go, make sure to get in touch with us as early as possible after November 1. We can help you compare policies and select the one that best meets your needs and budget.