What Are The Dates For Open Enrollment & Special Enrollment Periods 2022?

What are the dates for Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment Periods 2022?

Open enrollment 2022 for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance has ended. However, it’s still possible to get health insurance if you meet specific criteria. Read on to find out more about how you can access health insurance, or contact one of our local NC Health Insurance agents to find out how we can help. Our team can explain when is open enrollment for health insurance and what it means for your coverage.

How to access health insurance outside open enrollment periods

There are three ways you can still enroll in health insurance coverage outside of the open enrollment 2022 dates.

1. Eligible for a Special Enrollment Period

Several life events can mean you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you can access health coverage outside the open enrollment period. Life events include:

Changes to your household

You may qualify if you (or a member of your household) is affected by the following during the past 60 days:

  • Have a baby: you may be eligible if you or a family member you live with had a baby, adopted a child, or needed to place their child in foster care. Your coverage starts on the day of the event, although you can enroll up to 60 days after the event.
  • Get married: if you get married, you can select a new plan by the last day of the month, and your coverage will begin from the first day of the following month.
  • Get divorced or legally separate: if your marital status changes and this affects your access to health insurance, you may meet eligibility for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Death: if a member of your household dies and the death impacts your eligibility for your current health plan, you’ll be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Changes in your residence: if you or any member of your household has moved, then you may also be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period assuming you meet specific conditions. For example, moving to a new home in a new county, moving from overseas or moving to or from the place you usually attend school. When applying, you need to be able to show you had health coverage for one or more days during the 60 days before you moved. If you’re moving from another country to the US (or a US territory), you’re not required to provide any proof of coverage.

Loss of your health insurance

If you or anyone in your household has lost health coverage in the past 60 days or expects to lose any health insurance coverage in the next 60 days, you may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You may still be eligible if you lost coverage over 60 days ago but after January 1, 2020, if you were impacted by Covid-19. You may be asked to provide documentation to help confirm your loss of coverage as part of the application process. Loss of coverage can include:

  • Job-based coverage 
  • Losing your eligibility for Medicaid
  • Losing your eligibility for Medicare
  • Losing your eligibility for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Losing coverage that you had through a family member
  • Losing your individual health coverage 

An employer offers to help with the cost of coverage

You may be eligible if you or someone in your household gets access to individual coverage, like an HRA or a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement. This applies in the last 60 days, or if you expect it to occur in the next 60 days. 

Chat with your employer to find out the options for individual coverage to give yourself plenty of time to enroll. Also, discuss the impact this plan may have on any existing plans you have in place.

More qualifying changes

Some other life circumstances may mean you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. This include:

  • Leaving incarceration
  • Beginning or finishing service as an AmeriCorps State and National, VISTA, or NCCC member
  • Becoming eligible for Marketplace coverage (for example, because you recently became a US citizen)
  • You gained membership into a recognized tribe
  • You gained status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Corporate shareholder

2. You qualify for Medicaid

If you qualify for Medicaid, you can apply for health insurance at any time throughout the year and don’t need to worry about the Open Enrollment Period. Medicaid is free or low-cost health coverage available to many Americans with low-income levels. It’s also available to families, children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and the elderly. 

It’s a joint federal and state program that provides coverage to over 72 million Americans and over 1 million people in North Carolina. 

3. You qualify for the NC Health Choice for Children program

If you’re eligible for the NC Health Choice for Children program, you can also apply for health insurance coverage at any stage throughout the year. To be eligible, you need to be a resident of North Carolina and meet the following criteria: 

  • You’re either 18 years of age and under, or you are the primary caregiver with a child or children under 18 years of age
  • You’re a US citizen, national, or a non-citizen who has been legally admitted into the US
  • You’re uninsured and ineligible for Medicaid

What is a Special Enrollment Period and how do I qualify?

If you don’t qualify, you’ll need to wait until next year’s Open Enrollment Period to be able to enroll in an individual health insurance policy. However, to ensure you’ve got adequate health insurance coverage in the meantime, you can apply for a short-term health insurance plan. 

Short-term coverage can be purchased outside of the open enrollment period for 364 days. A short-term plan could be a good option, particularly if you have no underlying health conditions. However, unlike an ACA health insurance plan, they generally don’t provide coverage for any pre-existing conditions and you can get turned down. 

What if you don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?

If you don’t qualify, you’ll need to wait until next year’s Open Enrollment Period to be able to enroll in an individual health insurance policy. However, to ensure you’ve got adequate health insurance coverage in the meantime, you can apply for a short-term health insurance plan. 

Short-term coverage can be purchased outside of the open enrollment period for 364 days. A short-term plan could be a good option, particularly if you have no underlying health conditions. However, unlike an ACA health insurance plan, they generally don’t provide coverage for any pre-existing conditions and you can get turned down.

In North Carolina, you can purchase a short-term health insurance plan that covers you for 12 months. Some plans can be renewed for a total of up to 36 months. In NC, the average premium is approximately $150 per month. There are currently 1.2 million uninsured people across the state of North Carolina. Short-term policies can provide adequate coverage to protect you and your family should you require urgent health care.

If you need help comparing short-term health insurance plans, get in touch with our local NC independent health insurance agents today. Our team is based across the state, from Wilmington to Charlotte to Raleigh to Durham to Asheville. We can offer a wide range of options that best suit your needs if you’ve missed the period for open enrollment health insurance 2022.

When is the Open Enrollment Period for 2023?

The Open Enrollment Period for 2023 begins on November 1, 2022, and is open until December 15, 2022. This means you have a little over one month to enroll in a suitable plan or make changes to your health insurance coverage. You can purchase insurance either from the Health Insurance Marketplace or from a private provider. However, once the enrollment period closes, you can’t change your health insurance coverage unless you’re eligible for the Special Enrollment Period. 

To work out the best option for you and discuss a variety of plan options, including Blue Local, Blue Home, Blue Value and Blue Advantage plans, get in touch with a local health insurance agent today. Using an independent and licensed health insurance agent at no cost to you is an excellent option to gain up to date and tailored advice for you and your family. So contact us today or compare plans online to learn more about open enrollment 2023.

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