What is Open Enrollment?
Jess avatar
Written by Jess
Updated over a week ago

Open Enrollment is the one time of year to get, change, or renew your health insurance.

When is it?

November 1 to January 15 in most states (dates may differ slightly depending on which state you live in).

Enrollment is closed outside that period unless you have a qualifying life event, like moving, getting married, having a child, or losing other coverage (see Special Enrollment).

If you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), you can apply any time.

Why can't I enroll in health insurance whenever I want?

The idea behind having a brief window for Open Enrollment is that if anyone could get health insurance whenever they wanted, then no one would get it when they were healthy, and everyone would get it when they got sick or injured.

That would be bad news for insurance companies, who would only have customers who were hurt.

The dynamic could affect all kinds of insurance. Imagine if people only bought flood insurance during a flood. Flood insurance providers would quickly go out of business.

How can I sign up?

Want help finding a plan or getting signed up? Schedule a call with a Catch Benefits Advisor or email help@catch.co.

Or, if you'd prefer to shop on your own online, use our Health Explorer tool to do so.

Did this answer your question?