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HomeBankOpen Enrollment Explained: What It Is & How It Works

Open Enrollment Explained: What It Is & How It Works

Every year, most types of insurance will have open enrollment periods that last several weeks – usually from November 1 to January 15. The time frame may differ for states with their own health marketplaces.

There are a few ways you can sign up for coverage:

  • Through your employer
  • Via Medicare (if you are of retirement age)
  • Through the government healthcare marketplace (
  • Directly through an insurance company
  • By working with a health insurance broker

During open enrollment, you can:

  • Sign up for a new health insurance plan, or other forms of coverage like dental, vision, or life insurance
  • Make changes to your existing plan if you need to increase coverage amounts or add family members and dependents
  • Sign up for or make changes to your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA)

Does open enrollment differ by state?

What is open enrollment like for other states? For most states, OEP for 2024 health plans starts November 1, 2023, and ends January 15, 2024.1 This gives you just around 11 weeks to sign up. However, if you want coverage beginning January 1, 2024, you’ll need to enroll by December 15, 2023. If you enroll between December 16, 2023, and January 15, 2024, your coverage will begin February 1, 2024 instead.

Not all states have these same deadlines as they manage their own health marketplaces. In the case you live in any of the following states, you’ll want to ensure you enroll by the deadlines below:

  • California: November 1-January 31
  • Massachusetts: November 1-January 23
  • New Jersey: November 1-January 31
  • New York: November 16-January 31
  • Rhode Island: November 1-January 31
  • Washington, D.C.: November 1-January 31

Here’s a complete list of states with differing OEPs.



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