What Happens If I Missed Open Enrollment?



Though the end of the year means holidays and time for reflection, but if you missed the open enrollment period, you’re probably wondering how to receive health insurance now that it is over. Open enrollment for health insurance ended on December 15, 2020, but you still may be able to enroll for 2021 in a couple ways. We’re answering some of the most common questions about open enrollment, and what changes you can make so you’re never without coverage.

What is open enrollment?

Open enrollment is a period of time that people can make changes to the benefits they receive on their health insurance plan. This includes dental and life insurance, as well as ancillary and voluntary benefits such as pet insurance or legal services. People can also change their plan during this time. Some plans are paid for by an employer, while others are employee-paid, or part-employee/part-employer paid. For plans that begin on January 1, the open enrollment period is typically November 1-December 15, however, you should always check with your employer or health insurance provider to see if your period is different.

Am I eligible for open enrollment?

To be considered eligible for the open enrollment marketplace, you must be a U.S. citizen or national, live in the U.S., and not be incarcerated.

Can I make any changes after December 15?

Now that the open enrollment period is over, you will need to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period in order to enroll or make any changes to your health insurance. Certain life events, for example, qualify for a special enrollment period, including marriage, having a baby, changes in the family, or losing health coverage. You can also enroll in plans such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program at any time of year.

What happens if I do not sign up?

If you miss the enrollment period your purchasing options could then become limited for 2021. The next open enrollment will not occur until November of next year, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. There is also the option of obtaining a short-term plan to help bridge any gap in health coverage. Short-term plans are available in most states and can take effect as soon the next day after purchase. This can help in the meantime to alleviate any unexpected emergencies.

Interested in enrolling in a new insurance plan, but need extra consultation? Horizons Insurance and Financial Services are here to help you. "As experienced professionals representing the best companies in the business, we strive tirelessly to make sure your needs aren’t just met, but satisfied beyond your expectations". Visit our website for more information, or give us a call to request a consultation at (954) 862-1735.