Whether you are getting a health insurance plan for the first time or you want to replace the one you have, it’s important to know when you can sign up for or make changes to your health coverage. Here’s what you need to know about these periods, called open enrollment, and what happens if you miss them.
When Is Open Enrollment?
If you are in the market to buy a private health plan, you will be able to do so through the Health Insurance Marketplace during an official open-enrollment period.
Open Enrollment is usually between November 1st through December 15th of every year. However, open enrollment for 2024 has been extended through January 15, 2024. However, in order to have coverage that begins on 01/01/2024, enrollment must be completed by December 15, 2023. Enrollments and plan changes submitted between December 16 and January 15 will take effect on 02/01/2024 instead. After January 15, 2024 you can enroll in 2024 health insurance if you qualify for a Special Enrollment period.
You can apply for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program through the Marketplace at any time.
What's New for 2024?
Some health plans have made changes to their marketplace offerings for 2024. Please find below the most current information that is available.
- Aetna CVS Health – NorthShore will participate for 2024
- Ambetter - NorthShore Specialists and Hospitals will participate for 2024
- Blue Precision HMO - NorthShore will participate for 2024 (verify PCP participation)
- Oscar Health Choice HMO - NorthShore will participate for 2024
- United Healthcare – NorthShore will participate for 2024
- Blue Choice Preferred - NorthShore will participate for 2024
- BlueCare Direct - NorthShore DOES NOT participate
- Blue FocusCare - NorthShore DOES NOT participate
- Cigna Connect - NorthShore DOES NOT participate
- Cigna Plus with Northwestern Medicine – NorthShore DOES NOT participate
- Molina Healthcare - NorthShore DOES NOT participate
- Oscar Health Select HMO - NorthShore DOES NOT participate
What Is a Special Enrollment Period?
There are a few circumstances in which you may be able to enroll or change your health insurance plan outside of the official open-enrollment period. If you have certain qualifying events occur, you may be eligible for what’s called a special enrollment period. Pre-enrollment verification is required for special enrollment periods. Documentation must be submitted that proves eligibility for the special enrollment period before consumers are allowed to enroll in marketplace coverage.
These events include, but are not limited to:
- Moving to a new state
- A change of income
- Marriage, divorce or a new baby
In most cases, the special enrollment period runs 60 days from the qualifying event.
What Happens if I Miss the Deadline?
If you miss the open enrollment deadline, you may qualify for coverage via a Special Enrollment Period. There is also a Special Enrollment Period for complex situations. Visit Healthcare.gov to learn more.
Last updated: November 2023