When Is Open Enrollment For Health Insurance? – Forbes Advisor


Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions don’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

Medical health insurance is crucial, irrespective of your age or stage of life. While there are a number of exceptions, most medical insurance plans require you to follow them for a whole yr. If you must change your coverage or enroll in a recent plan, you’ll be able to achieve this through the annual open enrollment period. Here’s the whole lot it’s essential learn about open enrollment for medical insurance.

What Is Open Enrollment?

“The open enrollment period is a select time annually when you’ll be able to elect or change your medical insurance plan option. Nonetheless, the timing varies depending on the plan you’re enrolling in,” sats Anand Shukla, senior vp of individual markets at Aetna, a CVS Health company.

As an illustration, the Medicare annual enrollment period runs from October 15 through December 7 annually. Meanwhile, the Inexpensive Care Act (ACA) Marketplace/Exchange open enrollment period begins on November 1.

“When you receive medical insurance out of your employer, the corporate likely has an annual enrollment period during which you’ll be able to enroll or change your coverage. You should definitely confirm these dates with them,” says Shukla.

Methods to Maximize Open Enrollment Periods

There are plenty of ways you’ll be able to take advantage of open enrollment. Before everything, know once you’re eligible. “Your open enrollment period will depend on how and where you buy insurance,” says Koleen Cavanaugh, vp of selling at Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia.

Then, take the time to evaluate your health needs and lifestyle. To achieve this, Kyu Rhee, M.D., Aetna’s senior vp and chief medical officer, recommends answering the next questions:

  • Do you could have a primary care physician or use any medical specialists?
  • What medications do you’re taking?
  • What diagnostic tests, reminiscent of blood tests or imaging, do you would like?
  • Are you due for key preventive screenings like vaccinations and cancer screenings?
  • Are you managing one or multiple chronic conditions?
  • Do you anticipate any surgeries or procedures?

When you home in on what you’re in search of, shop around for coverage. Dylan H. Roby, associate professor of Health, Society and Behavior on the University of California, Irvine’s Program in Public Health, recommends in search of a plan that meets your needs for the upcoming yr—regarding monthly premium prices and by way of health needs.

“You may also speak with an area trusted broker or licensed insurance advisor to aid you find out about the various plans available in your area. Many insurers also offer local seminars that provide insight on plans and permit for questions,” says Shukla.

“When selecting a plan, take the 4 Ds—doctors, drugs, diagnostics and deductibles—under consideration. Ensure your doctors are in network, your drugs are covered, key diagnostic tests like blood tests and imaging are accessible, and your deductible meets your financial needs,” says Dr. Rhee.

He adds that it’s best to also consider vision, dental and hearing coverage. It’s ideal in case your plan covers telehealth visits and virtual care as well. “Your health plan is your ticket to getting and staying healthy,” he says.

Coverage area

Offers plans in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Variety of providers in network

About 1.2 million

Physician copays start at


Coverage area:

Offers plans in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Variety of providers in network

About 1.7 million

Physician copays start at


Coverage area

Offers plans in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Variety of providers in network

About 1.5 million

Physician copays start at


Managing Open Enrollment for Different Forms of Health Insurance

No matter what medical insurance plan you could have, Roby suggests considering greater than just premiums when weighing the small print of a given plan. “The deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, out-of-pocket maximum and provider network are really necessary points as well,” he says.

Listed below are some additional suggestions to maximise your open enrollment period based in your medical insurance plan.


When you choose an ACA Marketplace plan, for which open enrollment begins on November 1, you need to be aware of the Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC). “Depending in your household income, chances are you’ll qualify for the APTC that may significantly reduce the quantity of premium you pay for the insurance coverage,” says Shukla.

“It’s clever to examine out your options during each open enrollment period since the tax credits and subsidies available to chances are you’ll change as a consequence of changes within the medical insurance policies and plans being offered in your area,” adds Roby.

Nearly 90% of consumers in states that use HealthCare.gov for medical insurance received the APTC within the 2021 open enrollment period. Amongst those that received the APTC, the typical APTC amount covered 85% of their total premium during each the 2020 and 2021 open enrollment period.


When you get your medical insurance through Medicare, the initial open enrollment period spans seven months, in response to Carrie Jardine, a revenue cycle manager at Heading Health, a mental health clinic in Austin, Texas. It begins three months before your initial eligibility with Medicare (generally once you turn 65), continues during your birthday month, and terminates three months afterward.

The Medicare annual enrollment period, nonetheless, runs from October 15 through December 7 annually. “During this time, you’ll be able to select to stick with the normal Medicare plan or opt right into a Medicare Advantage plan through quite a lot of business payers,” says Jardine.

Employer-Sponsored Insurance

“When you obtain medical insurance through an employer, initial open enrollment is the time period once you’re first eligible to enroll together with your employer’s medical insurance carrier and is usually determined by the person employer’s discretion,” says Jardine.

Your employer could have an annual open enrollment period during which employees get the chance to decide on a distinct plan, but this era just isn’t a requirement for all corporations.

“Joining a lower premium, high-deductible plan might make sense, especially in case your employer is contributing money to a health savings account in your behalf,” says Roby.

Can I Make Changes Outside Open Enrollment?

After the open enrollment period is over, you’ll be able to only make changes to your coverage options should you qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event—a birth, marriage, adoption or foster care, lack of coverage, change of residence, change in income or becoming a U.S. citizen. Depending in your situation, you’ll have 60 days before or 60 days after the event to enroll in a recent plan.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here