Open enrollment in the individual marketplace (on and off-exchange) on-exchange is for those who quality for a tax credit, off-exchange is for those individuals that don’t qualify for a tax credit usually due to income being over the limit allowed. Starting in 2018, open enrollment for families and individuals is November 1 to December 15, with all plans effective January 1 of the coming year. This is the same time frame that is scheduled to be used for future years as well. Open enrollment for 2018 marked the first time that enrollment ended before the start of the New Year, and plan selections cannot be made after the year begins.
A tangible benefit for enrolling in the Open Enrollment window is that people with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied coverage. One of the hot button issues is pre-existing conditions, the Affordable Care Act eliminated medical underwriting in the individual and small group health insurance markets. Individual and small group plans are now issued to all applicants regardless of medical history, and with no pricing variations based on health status. Under the Affordable Care Act, coverage is guaranteed issue, period. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been uninsured when you enroll, and it doesn’t matter what pre-existing conditions you have (but you can only enroll during the annual Open Enrollment Period, or during a Special Enrollment Period if you experience a qualifying event).
I tried to enroll myself and it was a complete disaster, then I called John with Utah Health Insurance Advisors and within 30 minutes he had me enrolled in a better plan than I had selected. He also was able to show me a plan analysis which made me feel comfortable we had selected the best plan for my family.
— W. Williams