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Can I Only Change My Health Insurance During the Open Enrollment Period?

One reason choosing personal health insurance can be so difficult is because it’s hard to tell whether a policy will meet your needs when you actually have them. Selecting an insurance product can feel like making peace with what you don’t know and hoping for the best.

Add the idea you can only change health insurance policies once a year and things get confusing.

Millions of Americans choose an Affordable Care Act plan each year on the ACA insurance marketplace. ACA-compliant plans are required to meet certain coverage standards. They are separated into several “metal tier” levels that help consumers understand some of the differences at a glance.

Most of the time, you can only add or change an ACA-compliant plan during open enrollment.

However, there are several exceptions – and you don’t necessarily have to wait to make a change.

Open Enrollment Is the Best Time to Update an ACA-Compliant Health Insurance Plan

If you’re satisfied with your current ACA insurance plan or you want to adopt one in the future, the best time to make any changes is open enrollment. Open enrollment is a special period of time set aside each year for healthcare consumers to make a decision about an ACA plan.

During open enrollment, you can go to Healthcare.gov in Florida to look at your marketplace options. If you decide to join a plan, you can ensure coverage for the coming year by finalizing all of your choices before the end of December. Note, there may be specific cut-off dates for coverage.

When exactly is open enrollment? While it varies from one year to another, it usually runs between mid-November and mid-January, anywhere from 45 to 90 days. In emergencies, additional open enrollment periods have launched at other times of year, but this is rare.

Consumers who want to use an ACA plan should always make their changes during open enrollment.

It is possible to update your ACA plan outside open enrollment with a Qualifying Life Event (QLE).

Some common QLEs are:

  • Moving to a different state or to a new part of your current state
  • Losing or gaining employment
  • Getting married or having a child

If you have a QLE, you can apply for a special enrollment window for yourself. This will give a brief period of time to make additional changes. However, the process can take a while. You might be required to send in documentation of your QLE. That delay can leave you without insurance.

You Don’t Need to Be in Open Enrollment to Change Your Insurance Policy with Choice

ACA open enrollment is the reason why many Americans believe they can only make health insurance changes at a particular time of year. But it only applies to Affordable Care Act insurance. Most health insurance is not regulated under the ACA. Instead, you work directly with your insurer for all changes.

Of course, insurers may have their own rules about when and how you can make any adjustments.

If you want to update your health insurance any time of year, Choice Health Insurance Brokers is in your corner. Using one of our local health insurance brokers means we partner with you to find a health insurance policy flexible enough to meet your needs – no matter what time of year it is.

A Local Health Insurance Broker Helps You Make Changes Outside Open Enrollment

There are lots of reasons you might want to make changes to your health insurance:

  • Expanding coverage if you decide your employer-sponsored plan isn’t enough
  • Getting dental and vision insurance coverage or extending it to your family
  • Enrolling in temporary health insurance coverage after losing a job

No matter what your situation, Choice Health Insurance Brokers can help.

CHIB exists to make health insurance easier in Central Florida. As your local health insurance brokers, we’ve developed relationships with nearly all the organizations that offer health insurance in our service area.

That means you aren’t limited to the big insurance agencies. There may be dozens of other options you can find out about through CHIB. We will provide you with all the information you need to decide with confidence. If you go forward, you can adopt or adjust your plan any time of year.

You can choose a plan to supplement existing employer-sponsored or ACA coverage, or you can get one intended to meet all your needs. We will learn about your goals and budget and help you get it all done.

We’re on your side during open enrollment or any time you need us.

Contact us to find out more or get started.