I missed Open Enrollment. Can I still buy health insurance this year?
There are two set times to buy a health plan each year. The first is the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which runs November 1 – December 15 each year and is the time when everyone can buy a health plan. The second is the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). The SEP runs December 16 – October 31.
The COVID-19 SEP which was open to all Marketplace-eligible individuals and families ended August 15, 2021. Beginning August 16, 2021, you must experience a qualifying life event in order to participate in the SEP. Qualifying life events include losing your current health care coverage, getting married, or having a baby. In most cases, you have 60 days (including weekends and holidays) from the date of your qualifying life event to buy a new health plan. You will be required to send in proof showing that you had a qualifying life event and your event’s date. Based on your income and family size, you may also be able to get financial help.
If you have a Community Health Choice Marketplace plan, you may be able to change your plan during an SEP as well.