Open enrollment for 2017 has begun on November 1, 2016, and will end on January 31, 2017.

These dates are for both on and off-exchange plans. The deadline to enroll in a plan with a January 1, 2017 effective date will be December 15, 2016 (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington state will all allow enrollments to be completed as late as December 23, 2016 and still have coverage effective January 1, 2017).

Whether you purchase insurance through the federal exchange or through another insurance provider exchange, the annual open enrollment window applies.  You’re unable to enroll outside of open enrollment unless you have had a qualifying event (Nevada is an exception).  Below are the qualifying events per federal regulations:

  • Marriage,
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen,
  • Birth or adoption,
  • Involuntary loss of other health coverage (this includes loss of coverage when health plans exit the market)
  • Permanent move to an area where new health plans are available

Starting in 2016, Healthcare.gov will require proof of eligibility.  Health insurance carriers commonly require proof of eligibility already.  Keep these documents for proof of eligibility ready to submit at tax time to file along with your taxes.  If you have experienced a qualifying event and plan to enroll during your special enrollment period, you will be required to submit the document verifying the event.

If you have not experienced a qualifying event this year (2016), your next opportunity to enroll will be November 1, 2016, when open enrollment begins. Coverage purchased during open enrollment will be effective January 1, 2017.


This update has been provided by Fresh Finance.