Beginning November 1, 2015, individuals (including their families) may apply for new health insurance or switch to a different health-care plan through a Health Insurance Marketplace. The open enrollment period ends January 31, 2016.
Individuals can use Health Insurance Marketplaces to compare health plans for benefits and price, and select a plan that fits their needs. Individuals have until December 15, 2015, to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start January 1, 2016. Coverage starts February 1, 2016, for those enrolling in or changing plans between January 2, 2016, and January 15, 2016. Enrollments or changes between January 16 and January 31 take effect March 1, 2016.
For those failing to meet the January 31 deadline, the only way to enroll in a health plan through a Marketplace is by qualifying for a special enrollment period, which is the 60-day period following certain life events that involve a change in family status (for example, marriage or birth of a child) or loss of other health coverage. Job-based plans must provide a special enrollment period of 30 days.
To learn more about Health Insurance Marketplaces, refer to the government site, www.healthcare.gov.