5. Important Dates to Know
There are five important dates to know for the Health Insurance Marketplace:
- November 1, 2015 – Marketplace open enrollment for 2016 begins.
- December 15, 2015 – Last day to enroll or change plans for new coverage to start Jan. 1.
- January 1, 2016 – 2016 coverage starts for those who enroll or change plans by Dec. 15.
- January 15, 2016 – Last day to enroll or change plans for new coverage to start Feb. 1.
- January 31, 2016 – Open enrollment ends. Any enrollments or changes made between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31 will take effect March 1.
After open enrollment ends on January 31, 2016, you won’t be able to get Marketplace coverage until the next annual enrollment period unless have a qualifying event, such as a divorce, marriage or baby.
If you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), you can apply now and your coverage can begin immediately. You can find out if you qualify for either program on the Marketplace website at www.healthcare.gov (use the website search box to search for “Medicaid” and “CHIP”).
The Bottom Line
Most people will be eligible to purchase health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. In order to qualify, you must:
- Live in the United States
- Be a U.S. citizen or national
- Not be currently incarcerated
If you are a U.S. citizen living abroad, you are not required to have coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and you won’t have to pay the fee for being without insurance.
To find additional information regarding the new Health Insurance Marketplace, as well as state-specific information and how to apply in your state:
InsuranceTime to renew your health plan – or shop for a new one for 2016. Here's how to get the most from marketplace open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act.
InsuranceVarious life events and situations enable you to join a qualified health plan (QHP) offered through the marketplace or change to a different plan.
InsuranceIf you didn't have health insurance last year – or miss this year's deadline – how is the Affordable Care Act penalty enforced?
InsuranceUnderstand the need for health insurance and why some undervalue the need for coverage. Learn about the top seven mistakes to avoid when purchasing insurance.
InsuranceFollow these 4 steps to get the best coverage at the most affordable price.
InsuranceNot sure how the Health Insurance Marketplace/Exchange works? Here are 5 ways to avoid frustration when enrolling through the federal or state exchanges.
InsuranceNine qualifying life events that trigger a special enrollment period for individuals seeking group or marketplace health insurance.
InsuranceYes, if you've no other coverage options. Here’s what you need to know about how it works and how it differs from employer-provided and marketplace plans.