Open Enrollment: The Basics

Open Enrollment is the time of year when you buy or change your health insurance for the new year. Here is our guide to navigating the basic fundamentals of getting coverage.
Welcome to Open Enrollment! You may have started getting emails or advertisements for the start of Open Enrollment on November 1, but it’s possible you don’t quite know what that means.

By Catch on October 15, 2021
Last updated October 19, 2021



Welcome to Open Enrollment! You may have started getting emails or advertisements for the start of Open Enrollment on November 1, but it’s possible you don’t quite know what that means.

That's okay. We put a short guide together to answer all your questions.

TL;DR Open Enrollment is the time of year to buy or change your health insurance. Read on! 

What exactly is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is the period when you can enroll in a new health insurance plan, make changes to your plan, or renew your current plan for the new year. You can get coverage  outside of the Open Enrollment period if you experience a qualifying life event, like getting married, moving, having a child, or losing coverage. 

Who is Open Enrollment for? 

You will need to purchase your own health insurance if you’re not eligible for coverage from an employer, a spouse or parent's employer, TRICARE, Medicaid, or Medicare. ⁠


When is Open Enrollment?

The Biden Administration extended the Open Enrollment period by an additional 30 days, so Open Enrollment this year is from November 1, 2021 to January 15, 2022. To get coverage for January 1, 2021, you must still enroll by December 15, 2021. Some states have slightly different dates. See below:

  • California: November 1-January 31
  • Idaho: November 1-December 15
  • Maryland: November 1-December 15
  • Massachusetts: November 1-January 23
  • New Jersey: November 1-January 31
  • New York: November 1-December 31
  • Vermont: November 1-December 15
  • Washington: November 1-December 15
  • Washington DC: November 1-January 31
Where Can I Get Health Insurance?

To get the best plan and all the savings you qualify for, visit Catch. Catch is free to use, and users can save an average of $500+ a month on their premiums. Getting covered takes less than ten minutes, and you can enroll right from your phone.

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