The Department of Health and Human Services has just revealed the dates during which consumers will be able to purchase health care plans from the Marketplace for the 2018 calendar year. Unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) due to a move, loss of group health coverage, or other circumstances as dictated by Healthcare.gov, this period will be the only opportunity you will have to purchase health care coverage from the Exchange for 2018.
The Open Enrollment Period for 2018 will be from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.
This timeframe of 45 days is significantly shorter than the Open Enrollment period for last year, which stretched from November 1, 2016 to through January 31 st , 2017. The DHHS has expressed hope that this shorter timeline for enrollment will help stabilize the market by requiring consumers to purchase plans for a full calendar year. According to www.federalregister.gov, “this change will improve individual market risk pools by reducing opportunities for adverse selection by those who learn they will need medical services in late December and January; and will encourage healthier individuals who might have previously enrolled in partial year coverage after December 15 th to instead enroll in coverage for the full year.”
What will this mean for me?
The shorter Enrollment window will mean even less time for consumers to make the important decision about which plan provides the best fit for themselves and their families. This year it will be more crucial than ever to work with an Agent who understands the details of the available plans, and who will help get you enrolled…with plenty of time to spare.