Having health insurance is an important part of your and your family’s well-being. If you’re enrolling for the first time, switching plans, or applying for subsidies for a medical plan in 2016, here are some important health care open enrollment dates for the marketplace you won’t want to miss:
November 1, 2015: Open Enrollment Starts
As enrolling in a new health coverage plan can take some time, gather the information you’ll need and research plans well beforehand. Carefully reviewing health care coverage in your state will help you make an informed decision. If have an existing plan through the health insurance marketplace, during open enrollment you can update your financial information and report major life events such as losing your job or getting married, which can affect how much you’ll pay for a plan.
If you are signing up for a different policy for 2016, make sure you don’t get double-billed by canceling your plan with your previous provider. The open enrollment period is generally the only time you can make changes to your plan.
January 1, 2016: First Date 2016 Coverage Can Start
Once your new coverage starts, carefully review the details of your plan to make sure it’s the correct one. Check to make sure that your medical records were transferred to your new provider. If you need to cancel your new plan for any reason, cancellation can take effect as soon as 14 days from the date you cancel. Just note your health care provider will collect premiums for these last two weeks of coverage.
January 31, 2016: Last Day for Open Enrollment
If you miss the deadline to apply for health insurance coverage under a marketplace health plan, unless you qualify for a special enrollment period, you won’t be able to sign up for coverage on the public exchange until the start of the next open enrollment period. This is currently scheduled to start on October 1, 2016, and would provide coverage in 2017.
By keeping in mind these important health care open enrollment dates and preparing ahead of time, you’ll be able to choose a medical insurance plan that is best for you and your family.