Getting the Coverage You Need

Open enrollment is the period each year when health insurance plans or聽HMOs (health maintenance organizations)聽are required by law to accept applications from聽new plan聽enrollees regardless of their health history. This also is the time when you can choose to stay with your existing health plan for the coming year if it still meets your needs. Open enrollment dates vary, depending on the state you live in and whether you get your coverage from your employer, an ACA Marketplace, or another source 鈥 but for many people, open enrollment takes place annually in the fall.

If you get insurance through your job, check with your human resources department to find out when your company鈥檚 open enrollment period begins and ends. If you get your health insurance through the ACA Marketplace, please note that in most states the 2021 open enrollment period will run only from Nov. 1, 2020, to Dec. 15, 2020.聽 However, 11 states have extended these deadlines. Click聽here聽for the deadlines in those states.

For people with聽Medicare聽coverage, open enrollment runs from聽Oct. 15 鈥 Dec. 7, annually.聽The open enrollment period for聽Medicaid聽is 365 days a year, available to those who need it, whenever that occurs.


You may have heard there is a case currently pending in the Supreme Court that concerns the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. While this lawsuit is highly concerning (you can read more about it here), please know that the case does not affect your coverage or your protections, today or for your 2021 plan options. The ACA remains the law of the land for now. Furthermore, if you sign up for a health insurance policy during open enrollment, your policy will remain in effect through 2021 even if the Supreme Court (in a worst-case scenario) were to overturn the ACA.

The bottom line? Use your opportunity during this fall鈥檚 open enrollment to get the health coverage you need for next year.

Be an active participant

As you consider your insurance options for 2021 and whether you choose to keep your current health insurance or to enroll in a new plan,聽READ YOUR POLICY. This is critical because the health insurance plan you choose will be yours for 12 months unless you have a聽qualifying life event聽that allows you to switch plans.

Basics & Key Dates


Health Coverage 101

Buyer Beware

COVID-19 Resources During Open Enrollment 2020

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