It’s that time of year again! The Open Enrollment Period for the 2019 Health Insurance Marketplace is here. The Health Insurance Marketplace is for those who do not have insurance through an employer, Medicaid, Medicare, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Open Enrollment is the annual period established under the Affordable Care Act (often referred to as the ACA or Obamacare) in which you can enroll in a new health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Open Enrollment for 2019 runs from Nov. 1, 2018 through Dec. 15, 2018 in most states. Plans sold during the Open Enrollment period will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.
If you miss the Open Enrollment period for 2019, you will not be able to apply again until the following year, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). SEPs are granted to those who have experienced a major life change such as a move, birth of a child, or marriage. If you do not qualify for a SEP, be sure to get enrolled before the Open Enrollment deadline. While Open Enrollment in most states closes Dec. 15, some states have extended deadlines.
The states with extended enrollment deadlines for 2019 are:
California – Enrollment opens Oct. 15, 2018 and runs through Jan. 15, 2019
Colorado – Enrollment opens Nov. 1, 2018 and runs through Jan. 15, 2019
D.C. – Enrollment opens Nov. 1, 2018 and runs through Jan. 31, 2019
Massachusetts – Enrollment opens Nov. 1, 2018 and runs through Jan. 23, 2019
Minnesota – Enrollment opens Nov. 1, 2018 and runs through Jan. 13, 2019
New York – Enrollment opens Nov. 1, 2018 and runs through Jan. 31, 2019
Rhode Island – Enrollment opens Nov. 1, 2018 and runs through Dec. 31, 2018
It’s important to note that in states with extended Open Enrollment periods, coverage may start later than Jan. 1, and even as late as March 1.
You may ask why some states have extended deadlines. When the ACA was first introduced in 2014, the enrollment period lasted a total of six months. Later, for 2015, 2016, and 2017 coverage, the deadline was cut down to three months. Starting this past year the enrollment period was cut down to just one month.
The states listed above with extended deadlines have fought for longer enrollment periods to ensure accessibility and coverage for more people. Several states such as California and Colorado have passed legislation to permanently extend the Open Enrollment periods in their states, while other states have extended the deadlines just for this year (for now).
Now that you know the scoop on Open Enrollment dates in your state, it’s time to find the insurance plan that is right for you. The enrollment and purchasing process can appear daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
GoHealth allows you to compare thousands of health plans from top carriers in your area, and unlike other exchanges, our expert licensed insurance agents are standing by to guide you through the enrollment process.
To get help with Open Enrollment, call GoHealth at (866) 909-0798 and a licensed insurance agent will assist you.