How to Find Health Insurance During and After Open Enrollment
Usually, if you want to enroll in a health insurance plan, you have to wait for an open enrollment period. However, there are exceptions and life events that could allow you to purchase a plan outside of open enrollment.
Additionally, there are certain health insurance plans that are available all year long even if you don’t qualify for a special enrollment period. Read on to learn about these plans and your other 2023 health insurance open enrollment options.
Open enrollment is the period of time (usually a few weeks or even months) every year when you are able to sign up for health insurance or switch to another plan. Depending on where you live and what kind of health insurance you need, your 2023 open enrollment period may vary.
The reason healthcare open enrollment exists is to help keep the price of insurance from rising even faster.
Think about it like this — If health insurance enrollment were open all year long, then more Americans would avoid buying a policy until they got sick. Then, they would enroll and immediately start making medical claims. This would make it harder for insurance companies to make money since they wouldn’t have healthy people to even out costs.
Before the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”), enrollment was open all year long. Back then, health insurance companies would find other ways to keep prices from rising, such as:
- Dying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
- Not covering any costs related to childbirth.
- Charging women up to 50% more than men for the same plan.
- Putting yearly or lifetime limits on coverage.
Since the ACA outlawed these practices, open enrollment was created as a way to help offset the increased costs for insurance companies. Read on to learn about Medicare and other options for health insurance open enrollment for 2023.
ATTENTION: In 2020, several states opened a special enrollment period (SEP) on their state-run health marketplaces as a response to the growing rate of respiratory infections. Keep in mind, however, that if you have lost your job for any reason, you may be eligible for special enrollment no matter where you live. Additionally, since the outbreak of infections has been declared a national emergency, you may qualify for a SEP if you missed your original deadline.