Public Health

When is Open Enrollment for 2022?

Alyssa Corso14 Aug 2021

Open enrollment is the period during which people can purchase health insurance for the upcoming year. If you don't sign up for health insurance during the open enrollment period, there's a possibility that you won't be able to sign up for health insurance until the next open enrollment period unless you experience a qualifying event.

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Open Enrollment Dates for 2022 Health Insurance Coverage

In most states, the 2022 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) begins November 1, 2021, and ends December 15, 2021. The federal government has declared a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that re-opens the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace through August 15, 2021.

The chart below shows the SEP and OEP dates for the states that use the federal ACA exchange. Coverage begins the first day of the month after you sign up. For example, if you signed up by February 15, your coverage would have been effective March 1.

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Special Enrollment and Open Enrollment Periods for 2022

StatesFederal Special Enrollment Period for 2021 PlansFederal Open Enrollment Period for 2022 Plans
AlabamaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
AlaskaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
ArizonaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
ArkansasFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
DelawareFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
FloridaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
GeorgiaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
HawaiiFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
IllinoisFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
IndianaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
IowaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
KansasFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
KentuckyFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
LouisianaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
MaineFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
MichiganFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
MississippiFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
MissouriFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
MontanaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
NebraskaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
New HampshireFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
New MexicoFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
North CarolinaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
North DakotaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
OhioFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
OklahomaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
OregonFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
South CarolinaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
South DakotaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
TennesseeFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
TexasFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
UtahFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
VirginiaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
West VirginiaFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
WisconsinFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
WyomingFebruary 15, 2021 – August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021

Dates for the 2021 Special Enrollment Period vs. the 2022 Open Enrollment Period

StateState Special Enrollment Deadline for 2021 PlansState Open Enrollment Period for 2022 Plans
California3December 31, 2021November 2021 – TBD
Colorado4August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – January 15, 2022
Connecticut5October 31, 2021TBD
Idaho6April 30, 2021TBD
Maryland7,8August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
Massachusetts9,10July 23, 2021November 1, 2021 – January 23, 2022
Minnesota11July 16, 2021November 2021 – TBD
Nevada12August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – January 15, 2022
New Jersey13December 31, 2021November 1, 2021 – January 31, 2022
New York14December 31, 2021February 17, 2021 – December 31, 2021
Pennsylvania15August 15, 2021TBD
Rhode Island16,17August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – TBD
Vermont18October 1, 2021November 1, 2021 – December 15, 2021
Washington DC19,20*November 30, 2021/December 31, 2021November 1, 2021 – January 31, 2022
Washington21August 15, 2021November 1, 2021 – TBD
*In Washington, DC, residents can have coverage effective immediately. For example, if residents sign up by June 30, they can choose for their coverage to begin on either June 1 or July 1.19

Source: https://www.healthmarkets.com/resources/health-insurance/open-enrollment/

What Open Enrollment Is

Open enrollment is the yearly period when people can enroll in a health insurance plan

Special Enrollment

Special enrollment is another period in which you can enroll in a health insurance plan. However, you cannot enroll during special enrollment unless you have a qualifying event. 

In most cases, you're required to have already had coverage prior to the qualifying event in order to sign up for a new plan as a result of the qualifying event (for example, if you move to a new area, it's only a qualifying event allowing you to sign up for a plan in your new area if you already had coverage in your previous location). The restrictions on special enrollment periods make it more important than ever for people to sign up during open enrollment when those restrictions don't apply.

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Qualifying Life Events

There are 4 basic types of qualifying life events. 

Loss of health coverage

Changes in household

  • Getting married or divorced
  • Having a baby or adopting a child
  • Death in the family
  • Changes in residence

Moving to a different ZIP code or county

  • A student moving to or from the place they attend school
  • A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they both live and work
  • Moving to or from a shelter or other transitional housing
  • Other qualifying events

Changes in your income that affect the coverage you qualify for

  • Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen
  • Leaving incarceration (jail or prison)
  • AmeriCorps members starting or ending their service

During open enrollment, employers and companies may change the offered health insurance benefits for their employees. 

Open Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

It's important to fully understand how open enrollment works to ensure you can be covered for the following year.

How does the open enrollment period impact me when I'm already insured?

Even if you are already insured and happy with your plan, there are a few things to pay attention to during open enrollment season. During open enrollment season, make sure you note how much your premium will change in the coming year and if this is still feasible for you and your family. 

Additionally, some benefits of your plan or coverage details may change in the coming year. Ensure that you are aware of these changes before the open enrollment period ends, as most states will not let you make changes to your plan after mid-December. 

How does open enrollment work when I receive health insurance from my employer?

If you are hired as an employee at a new job, you do not need to wait until the open enrollment period to get covered by their health insurance. The open enrollment period employer health insurance may overlap with the regular open enrollment period or a few weeks earlier. Check with your employer to determine when their open enrollment period will be and if they are making any changes to the plan in the coming year. 

I don't qualify for special enrollment, and I've missed the open enrollment period. What can I do?

If you missed the Open Enrollment Period in your state and you do not qualify for an SEP, you can apply for a short-term health insurance plan. Short-term health insurance coverage can be purchased outside of OEP for up to 364 days, and you can reapply for short-term coverage for up to 36 months in most states. Short-term health insurance plans might be a good, temporary fit for healthy people, as they will not cover pre-existing conditions like Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans.

Do I have to apply for Medicaid during open enrollment?

You can apply for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid and CHIP any time, all year. You do not have to wait until the open enrollment period. If you qualify, you can enroll immediately.

Bottom Line

Open enrollment is a specific time during the year where you can get health insurance for the following year. It's important to pay close attention to these dates.

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