The Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) created a nationwide Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for individuals and families who need to purchase their own health insurance.
The 2018 open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2017 and ends on December 15, 2017.
Open enrollment is the one time of year, when almost anyone can sign up for a major medical health insurance plan without their application for coverage being declined.
The open enrollment period was changed on April 13, 2017 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
A final rule aimed at stabilizing the health insurance exchanges created under Obamacare was issued to address some concerns raised by health insurers that should repair problems with enrollment through government-run exchanges.
Prior to 2018, Obamacare open enrollment periods ran from November 1, to January 31, each year.
Outside OEP, most people cannot sign up for major medical health insurance unless they have certain major life changes called qualifying life events. People unable to buy major medical plans may consider buying a short-term health insurance policy outside of OEP, but these short-term plans have many disadvantages — they cover much less than major medical plans, do not meet the Obamacare requirements for insurance or avoiding the uninsured tax penalty, and can often reject applicants for medical reasons.