Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Open Enrollment: What You Need To Know
BY Anna Porretta Updated on December 01, 2022
The Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, gives people a chance to buy health insurance on an open marketplace. People can get ACA-compliant coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace if they are not insured through their employer, the government, or a similar source.
However, there are limitations on when you can and can’t sign up for coverage, causing many to ask, “when is open enrollment for Obamacare?” In this guide, we’ll go over the Obamacare open enrollment dates, exceptions to the rule, and more, so you can be prepared when you’re ready to sign up for healthcare coverage.
What is the 2022 fall Obamacare open enrollment?
The 2022 open enrollment period is your yearly chance to sign up for or make changes to your healthcare coverage. This period is for coverage going into effect for the 2023 plan year. During this time, all people shopping for individual or family insurance can buy or switch their insurance through the federal exchange.
The Obamacare open enrollment will run from November 1 to December 15, 2022, in most states for coverage starting January 1, 2023. However, you can enroll in health insurance up to January 15th in most states.
Additionally, many state legislatures created special enrollment periods, extended their special enrollment periods, and expanded eligibility criteria to help as many uninsured folks get coverage as possible.
Since fall open enrollment details may vary by state, it’s always best to check with your state’s insurance department for more information.
When are the Obamacare open enrollment deadlines?
Since open enrollment for Obamacare can only take place during the designated period, it is important to get signed up before the deadline.
For states that do not have their own health insurance portals, the last day for Affordable Care Act open enrollment that will start on January 1, 2023, is December 15, 2022, according to Healthcare.gov, and the first enrollment day is November 1. For coverage starting later, the final open enrollment day is January 15, 2023.
States using the default Healthcare.gov system for Obamacare open enrollment 2022, including its default deadlines, are:
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
The enrollment deadline may be different for states that use their own portals. Here are the dates for these states:
- California: November 1 to January 31 (renewals begin October 1)
- Colorado: November 1 to January 15
- Connecticut: November 1 to January 15
- District of Columbia: November 1 to January 31 (uninsured residents can enroll anytime until COVID is no longer considered a health emergency)
- Idaho: October 15 to December 15
- Kentucky: November 1 to January 15
- Maine: November 1 to January 15
- Maryland: November 1 to January 15
- Massachusetts: November 1 to January 23
- Minnesota: November 1 to January 15
- Nevada: November 1 to January 15
- New Jersey: November 1 to January 31
- New Mexico: November 1 to January 15
- New York: Enrollment remains open until COVID is no longer declared an emergency. 2023 plans are expected to be available by Nov. 16, 2022
- Pennsylvania: November 1 to January 15
- Rhode Island: November 1 to January 15
- Vermont: November 1 to January 15
- Washington: November 1 to January 15
Make sure to mark these dates on your calendar if you need to sign up for or switch health insurance for 2023.
Can anyone get a health insurance plan during this open enrollment for Obamacare?
There was a previous expectation that only people who were uninsured could participate since that was the case with some states who launched their own COVID special enrollment periods (SEPs). These states included Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, D.C.
However, once the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the details for the Obamacare open enrollment, it was clear they wanted to cast a wide net and allow as many people as possible to enroll in or switch their coverage.
And, as mentioned, the annual fall open enrollment is different from a special enrollment period. Anyone can use this time frame to sign up for or make changes to their coverage. You don’t need to have a qualifying life event to participate.
Learn more about how Obamacare works.
Are all health insurance carriers participating in the open enrollment?
Yes, all health insurance plans available through the federal exchange are participating in the Obamacare open enrollment reopening period. However, specific health plan options and insurance companies may vary by state.
How can I buy a health insurance plan during the Affordable Care Act open enrollment?
In states without their own platforms, Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance is purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace website. To sign up there, you first create an account on the site. Then, you enter your location, and the site will show you the plans available in your state and county. You can filter the results to only show the types of health plans you want, plans from a specific insurance company, monthly premiums, or any of several other features. Once you find a plan you like, click the button that indicates that you want to enroll in it.
If your state has its own ACA website, sign up through it instead of the federal version. Each state’s site will have its own specifics for the process of enrolling.
You can also sign up through sites like eHealth. With eHealth, you can easily find and compare plans that are available in your area to find coverage that both meets your needs and fits your budget.
What states provide additional state subsidies?
The ACA provides federal subsidies for insurance to those who qualify, but 39 states added their own subsidies to make it even easier for low-income people to be insured. These extra subsidies come from Medicaid expansion. Here is a list of states that have implemented this expansion.
What happens if I miss the deadline for Obamacare open enrollment?
With very few exceptions, missing the deadline means you can’t sign up until the next open enrollment period (November of 2023). However, there may be some exceptions:
If specific circumstances change in your life, you may qualify for a special enrollment period. Qualifying changes include moving to another county, getting married or divorced, having or adopting a child, losing your health insurance coverage, or having your income drop below a specific threshold, to name a few.
If you need health care coverage outside of the standardized dates, find out if you might be able to qualify for special enrollment. With special enrollment, you get a 60-day period to sign up for healthcare after you’re approved.
Short-Term Health Insurance
Short-term health insurance is meant for periods of 364 days or less—the exact period depends on the specific policy you have. Usually, short-term insurance is meant for those who have recently moved, lost their job, or need health insurance for a short amount of time. You can use eHealth to find and compare short-term health insurance options.
These plans have limited coverage, so it is important to do your research before signing up.
Healthcare Through Your Job
If your employer provides your health insurance, the enrollment period will depend on what the company’s plan dictates. You will sign up for these plans through your employer instead of the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Medicaid offers health insurance coverage for low-income individuals and families. Those who qualify for Medicaid can sign up for it at any time of the year.
Enrolling in an Obamacare health plan: Who can help me?
One of the best ways to get help with choosing and enrolling in an Obamacare plan is to go through eHealth. We make it easy to find and compare health insurance plans both on and off of the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Sign up for Health Insurance to Make Sure You’re Covered
If you have questions about the ACA Open Enrollment reopening or want to compare plans available in your area, give us a call or check out individual and family health insurance plans today. At eHealth, you’ll never pay more for health coverage with us than you would elsewhere since healthcare costs are regulated.
Our trusted and knowledgeable licensed insurance agents would be happy to walk you through your options and find coverage that fits your needs. Or, if you’d prefer to browse at your own convenience, you can use our simple-to-use plan finder tool to start looking at plan options now. Just enter your ZIP code into the tool to get started.