If you are applying for a health plan during open enrollment, unfortunately you cannot get a plan that starts right away. Plans applied for during this time will start on January 1st, 2021.
Open Enrollment is the only time of year that you can apply for health insurance without a special qualifying life event. Make sure to submit your application during this window!
- The open enrollment period runs from November 1st to December 15th, 2020.
There are a few exceptions to this rule:
1. If you live in Maryland or New York State there are emergency Covid-19 special enrollment periods allowing any uninsured resident to apply for insurance starting November 1st or December 1st depending on when you apply.
2. You may apply for coverage sooner if you have a special qualifying life, event such as losing job based coverage since January 1st, 2021. If you've had one of these life events, you may be able to enroll in coverage starting as early as December 1st.
- To apply, you must have a qualifying life event and you must live in a state that uses the federally facilitated marketplace, Healthcare.gov as their state based exchange.
- You can see the full list of qualifying events here -> How can I get coverage outside of open enrollment?
3. Some states such as California have newly added special enrollment periods! California currently has two new special enrollment periods for:
- Victims of the recent California wildfires and
- Californians who lost their job or income due to the pandemic and recession.