What is open enrollment?

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Health insurance is confusing, but open enrollment doesn’t have to be.

So what is open enrollment exactly? To put it simply: it’s a once-a-year period of time where you can change your health insurance coverage.

While you can change your health insurance plan mid-year in case of a qualifying life event, open enrollment is the only time period where you can make a change without a specific reason. Concerned about your monthly premiums? Use open enrollment to see what other options are available. Perhaps you and your spouse are planning to start a family in the next year — this is a great time to see if a different plan might offer better coverage for childbirth or adoption-related medical expenses. Even if you’re happy with your current health insurance plan, it never hurts to take advantage of open enrollment as a time to learn more about your coverage options.

When is open enrollment? Timing varies for every plan. If you get your health insurance through your employer, expect to hear from them with the specifics. Often, employers offer a two-week open enrollment period sometime between October and December. If you get your health insurance through the federal health insurance exchange (Healthcare.gov), open enrollment for 2018 begins November 1, 2017, and lasts until December 15, 2017.

The most important part of open enrollment is understanding all of the options that you have. To help with that, we put together a list of resources to help ensure that you make the best possible decision this year. Still have questions? Reach out to us on social media (you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram), and we’ll do everything we can to get your question answered ASAP.

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The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. The One Medical Group entities and 1Life Healthcare, Inc. make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.