Do I Have to Wait Until Open Enrollment to Get Personal Health Insurance?
Open Enrollment for the 2022 Affordable Care Act ended on December 15th, 2021. That means you have to wait until the next Open Enrollment period starts on November 1st, 2022, to change your health insurance plan or enroll in a new one. However, open enrollment only applies to ACA health insurance, i.e., Obamacare insurance.
If you don’t want to wait for open enrollment or want more flexibility in your health insurance plan, a better alternative is private health insurance. Private providers offer the same level of insurance as public companies, but without the constraints of ACA regulations. You have more freedom to choose what coverage you want when you want it. Below, we look at how to get health insurance throughout the years, not just during open enrollment.
What Is Open Enrollment?
Open enrollment is the yearly period in the Fall when you can enroll in a health insurance plan for the next calendar year. The enrollment period is between November 1st and December 15th. If you do not sign up for health insurance during the open enrollment, you cannot sign up until the next enrollment period unless you experience a qualifying event.
If you are eligible and apply for health insurance during the open enrollment, the health provider must insure you. The company is not allowed to use medical underwriting or require evidence of insurability, both of which could make it harder for you to get health insurance. This guideline only applies to health insurance companies under the ACA umbrella – not to private health insurance companies.
What is a Qualifying Life Event?
A qualifying event is a change in your situation — like getting married, having a baby, or losing health coverage — that can make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, allowing you to enroll in health insurance outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period. There are four basic types of qualifying life events:
- Loss of health coverage
- Changes in household
- Changes in residence
- Financial hardship
The basic types of qualifying life events can be broken down into various situations that make you eligible for health insurance throughout the year. Again, this only applies to ACA insurance. Private health insurance is available any time without the need for a qualifying life event.
What is Private Health Insurance?
Private health insurance refers to any health insurance coverage offered by a private company instead of a state or federal government. Insurance brokers and companies both fall into this category.
Some private health insurance plans offer benefits that meet the minimum coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Other plans offer more personalized benefits, such as short-term or catastrophic coverage. Since private health insurance is not under the ACA, health insurance brokers can offer plans throughout the year regardless of your situation.
How Do I Sign Up for Private Health Insurance?
Since you do not have to wait until open enrollment to get personal health insurance, signing up is easy. Simply find a health insurance broker who can help you choose the right health insurance provider and coverage plan. You can meet with your broker to discuss your health needs and find out what options are available.
A licensed health insurance broker can help you manage the health insurance selection process from start to finish. While some people prefer to research plan options on their own, others are overwhelmed by buying health insurance and can benefit from professional assistance. Brokers also help you sift through available options to find a healthcare plan that’s compatible with your needs and budget.
Contact Insurance Enterprise for Premier Health Insurance
If you have questions about group or individual health insurance and need health insurance quotes, contact Insurance Enterprise at 888-350-6605. Speak to a licensed agent and find out more about how you can get an affordable health insurance plan.