Open enrollment in health insurance is the time frame that occurs once a year when people can sign up for health insurance, adjust existing ones or cancel it. In most states, open enrollment starts from the first of November through the fifteenth of January (Nov 1 – Jan 15). But in some states, like DC, they set their date themselves. During this period, policyholders can opt in or out of a health insurance plan. Most insurers, too, can reassess their rates and alter the cost for the coming year.

Business owners with more than 50 employers offering health insurance benefits also offer open enrollment. If your health insurance is through your job, your employer will schedule their enrollment period. Individuals, too, can buy insurance from the ACA (Affordable Care Act).

But what happens when the period ends? How can you get health insurance after that? Here is how you can get health insurance after open enrollment:


CHIP (child health insurance project) and Medicaid are other ways to get health insurance after open enrollment has ended. It is available throughout the year. You and your kids can get health insurance through it, provided you are eligible.

Medicaid/CHIP eligibility varies for each state, but it is based on income as a percentage of the poverty level. You need to check to see if you qualify for it before considering yourself uninsured.

For Minnesota residents, if the household income is below 200% poverty level, they are eligible for basic health program coverage at any time of the year.

Special Enrollment Period

The special enrollment period works best for those who miss the open enrollment and don’t have an existing plan that is automatically renewed. Such people are as good as the uninsured. Special enrollment comes into play in such situations when you experience events that trigger it. Events such as:

  • Marriage
  • Having a child
  • Adopting a child
  • Job loss, hence losing employer-sponsored health insurance
  • Divorce
  • Coverage loss

If any of these occurs, you are eligible for special enrollment either through the exchange or an insurance company.

Also, if the household income is below the 150% federal poverty level, such families can enroll in health insurance during this period. But if they don’t qualify, they have to wait till the next open enrollment period.

Short-term/Supplemental Health Insurance

Short-term health insurance and supplemental health insurance are two different things. But both are offered by private insurance companies. Short-term health insurance is for a term, just like its name. While supplemental health insurance bridges the insurance gap ACA insurance leaves open. Think of it as an add-on to your insurance. But for those without insurance, it is the best you can get to stay insured till the next open enrollment period.

Did you miss out on the open enrollment this year? So what? You don’t have to be uninsured. At Randy Jones insurance, we offer some of the best health insurance coverage tailored to suit your needs. Our team of experts is available to help you through the process. Contact us today to get a quote for free!