Why is Open Enrollment Only 45 Days?

November 1, 2017

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Lead Copywriter

This year you may have noticed that Open Enrollment, the time when you can buy health insurance, looks a little bit different.

Typically Open Enrollment starts on November 1st and ends on January 31st. But this year, Open Enrollment is only 45 days long–starting on November 1st and ending on December 15th.

If you’re wondering why Open Enrollment has been shortened to 45 days, that’s a good question. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ruled in April of 2017 to shorten Open Enrollment in hopes of stabilizing markets and lowering monthly premiums. The time period was selected to match Medicare enrollment.

So what does this mean for you? This means that unless you live in one of the states listed below, you HAVE to buy health insurance between November 1st and December 15th or risk paying a penalty. There are a few exemptions to this rule (see below). It’s also important to note that though the Open Enrollment time frame has changed, health law–the Affordable Care Act–has not. You can still qualify for subsidies and get coverage with a preexisting condition.

Here’s a list of states with extended Open Enrollment periods:

California: November 1st to January 31st, 2018.
Colorado: November 1st to January 12th, 2018
Connecticut: November 1st to December 22nd, 2018
District of Columbia: November 1st to January 31st, 2018
Minnesota: November 1st to January 14th, 2018
Washington: November 1st to January 15th, 2018

In addition, we sell Altrua health share plans which are marketplace exempt. In other words, Altrua plans are available year-round. We also offer short-term health insurance plans which are available throughout the year and do not have to adhere to marketplace rules.

If you need health insurance for 2018 or want to learn more about Altrua or short-term health insurance, please go to heykind.com or call us at 1-888-871-3864. We’re happy to help you better understand the complicated world of health insurance.