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Open Enrollment is Over – Or is it?


The federal government’s marketplace, healthcare.gov, is where millions of Americans shop for individual health coverage. The open enrollment deadline for applying for coverage through healthcare.gov was December 15th for a January 1st, 2021 effective date.

BUT – a number of states have their own marketplaces with later deadlines for buying coverage directly with a health insurer or through the state-based marketplace or exchange. New York, New Jersey, and California residents have until January 31st to buy coverage in their states. Connecticut marches to its own drummer and publishes a December 15th deadline every year only to extend the deadline once December 15th has passed. Connecticut residents now have until January 15th to purchase coverage for 2021.

Florida, unique in many respects, has yet another approach – letting the insurers decide. As a result, Florida Blue has extended direct-through-Florida Blue-purchases (meaning no premium tax credits) through December 31st.

You can determine if you have a state-based exchange by going to healthcare.gov and entering your zip code. The home page of the site should prominently display information about enrollment deadlines. Check the enrollment deadlines and effective dates. You can also call the exchange. A 2021 map of the State Marketplace types from the Kaiser Foundation is displayed above.

If you miss the enrollment window in your state, you can’t buy individual coverage again until next year unless you have a loss of coverage through job loss, end of COBRA, moving, or some other event. The notable exception is Medicaid, the program for low-income Americans, which has continuous monthly enrollment.

Call us at (203) 956-5009 with any questions you may have.