Annual enrollment

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In the United States, annual enrollment (also known as open enrollment or open season) is a period of time, usually but not always occurring once per year, when employees of companies and organizations, including the government, [1] may make changes to their elected fringe benefit options, such as health insurance. The term also applies to the annual period [2]during which individuals may buy individual health insurance plans through the online, state-based health insurance exchanges established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Prior to January 1, 2014 insurers offering individual medical coverage typically allowed new members passing underwriting to enroll at any time throughout the year.

Annual enrollment is also prominent in Medicare, where almost 50 million enrollees can choose to stay in original Medicare, or join or change plans within the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug programs for the coming calendar year. Individuals usually can make changes to, or sign up for, their health insurance or fringe benefits only once per year [3]during the annual enrollment period or when they have experienced a specific qualifying event.[4] Open enrollment periods are indeed used in insurance markets to limit adverse selection risks resulting when enrollees can switch plans at will.[5]

During this time period, an employer will typically communicate to all eligible employees what options they have for their benefit program. Often the vendors or insurance providers will be present to explain the details of their products. This can be done either with group presentations, "benefit fairs" or meetings one on one with each employee. As travel expenses continue to rise many vendors and insurance providers have turned to using independent "contract enrollers" to do the communication on their behalf.

Open season is a prominent feature of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program during which some three million federal civilian employees and retirees may choose among several dozen health insurance plans [6]for the coming year. Open season is scheduled in the fall each year, and plan enrollment decisions take effect in the following calendar year.

Annual enrollment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act[edit]

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, annual enrollment, or open enrollment, is the period that people in the United States who need health insurance can sign up for an individual insurance plan. Unless someone experiences a "qualifying event" outside of the annual enrollment period, annual enrollment is the only time to sign up for individual health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Annual enrollment used to last for three months; the 2016 cycle lasted from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016. The 2018 annual enrollment cycle was reduced to 45 days (in most states) from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.[7]

Acting during the annual enrollment period is vital for any individual who wishes to buy individual health insurance. During annual enrollment anyone who wants to purchase insurance through the public exchange has the opportunity to do so despite circumstances, such as health or age. Outside annual enrollment, it can be difficult to obtain insurance, either public or private unless circumstances dictate.[8]

States Open Enrollment Dates for 2021[edit]

State Enrollment date
Alabama November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Alaska November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Arizona November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Arkansas November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
California October 15, 2020 – January 31, 2021
Colorado October 15, 2020 – January 15, 2021
Connecticut November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Delaware November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Florida November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Georgia November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Hawaii November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Idaho November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Illinois November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Indiana November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Iowa November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Kansas November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Kentucky November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Louisiana November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Maine November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Maryland November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Massachusetts October 15, 2020 – January 23, 2021
Michigan November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Minnesota November 1, 2020 – December 22, 2020
Mississippi November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Missouri November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Montana November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Nebraska November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Nevada November 1, 2020 – January 15, 2021
New Hampshire November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
New Jersey November 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021
New Mexico November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
New York October 15, 2020 – January 31, 2021
North Carolina November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
North Dakota November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Ohio November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Oklahoma November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Oregon November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Pennsylvania November 1, 2020 – January 15, 2021
Rhode Island October 15, 2020 – December 31, 2020
South Carolina November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
South Dakota November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Tennessee November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Texas November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Utah November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Vermont November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Virginia November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Washington November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Washington DC October 15, 2020 – January 31, 2021
West Virginia November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Wisconsin November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020
Wyoming November 1, 2020 – December 15, 2020

[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Open Season". U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  2. ^ "State Enrollment Deadlines". Annual Open Enrollment. 2020-09-25. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  3. ^ "State Enrollment Deadlines". Annual Open Enrollment. 2020-09-25. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  4. ^ "2020 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period". MedicareFAQ. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  5. ^ Decarolis, Francesco; Guglielmo, Andrea; Luscombe, Calvin (2017). "Open Enrollment Periods and Plan Choices". National Bureau of Economic Research, No. w24156.
  6. ^ "Open Season". U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Affordable Care Act - Open Enrollment Eventus Solutions, November 2014
  9. ^ "State Enrollment Deadlines". Annual Open Enrollment. 2020-09-25. Retrieved 2020-10-15.