Open enrollment is the time of year you can make changes to your existing coverage or purchase a new health insurance policy. If you’re used to group insurance, you know that those dates differ for each group insurance policy.

When it comes to individual medical insurance, though, there is a national open enrollment period (sometimes referred to as OEP), which takes place at roughly the same time for everyone. 

Most states use Healthcare.gov as the marketplace for individual policies, but some states have set up their own individual marketplace. (Check Healthcare.gov to see whether your state has its own marketplace.)

When is open enrollment?

Each marketplace sets its own dates for open enrollment and they can vary year to year. Typically, open enrollment for policies beginning in the next year starts in November and extends to the second half of December. We’ll post dates for the next open enrollment period as soon as they’re released. 👍

What about the rest of the year?

Outside of open enrollment, you can only purchase a major medical policy if you have a qualifying life event, such as getting married, having a baby, or moving. Healthcare.gov has a complete list and can help you confirm if you qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP).

This reimbursement benefit works in any situation and at any time of the year. Even if you can’t purchase a major medical policy, you have other options such as purchasing short-term health insurance or choosing to use the benefit without any insurance. We’ve outlined some of the options in more detail here: What are my options outside of open enrollment?

What to read next:

First time shopping for insurance? Check out our best-practice guide: How do I buy insurance?

While you can use this benefit in any situation, the type of coverage you have can impact what tax savings you’re eligible for. See: Minimum essential coverage (MEC)

You may find that you’re eligible for a premium tax credit, which you need to coordinate with this benefit. See: How PeopleKeep works with a premium tax credit

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