The Basics

Key Dates

The schedule to be prepared for Open Enrollment
tl;drOpen Enrollment runs from November 1 to January 15. For coverage starting on January 1, make sure to enroll before December 15 – otherwise it'll start on February 1.

If you miss a deadline for applying for health insurance, you could be left unprotected without coverage for the entire year ahead.

These dates are set by the government and can move based on circumstances. Some states choose to have their own marketplace, which can sometimes affect their Open Enrollment dates.

November 1: Open Enrollment starts

Sign up or adjust your health insurance plan. Open Enrollment is the only time you can sign up for health insurance, unless you qualify for Special Enrollment.

December 15: Close of Open Enrollment (for plans starting January 1)

Open Enrollment generally closes twice. This is the first closing. For your plan to begin on January 1, you must have enrolled in the plan before December 15.

January 15: Close of Open Enrollment (for plans starting February 1)

The second and final closing of Open Enrollment allows you to get coverage that starts on February 1. You must have enrolled in a plan by January 15, or you won't have insurance for the year.

If you don't get health insurance during Open Enrollment but experience a qualifying life event, you can still apply for coverage (see Special Enrollment). Catch can help you understand whether you qualify.