The Open Enrollment period for Obamacare/ACA health insurance in 2015 is November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. The critical deadlines are:
- November 15, 2014: Open Enrollment begins. Apply for, keep, or change your coverage.
- December 15, 2014: Enroll by the 15th if you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015. Select states have extended this deadline due to technical issues and high demand on December 15. Here are the updated deadlines:
- Maryland – December 18
- Connecticut – December 19
- California – December 21
- New York – December 20
- Minnesota – December 20, 4:30pm CST
- Idaho – December 20, midnight MST
- Rhode Island – December 23
- Washington – December 23
- Massachusetts – December 23 (unconfirmed)
- December 31, 2014: Coverage ends for 2014 plans.
- February 15, 2015: This is the last day you can apply for 2015 coverage before the end of Open Enrollment.
If you miss this window you cannot enroll until the Marketplace re-opens in November 2015 unless you have a special life event such as having a babe or losing your job. This is designed to prevent people from taking advantage of the system by enrolling and dropping insurance multiple times a year when they only get sick.
If you don’t enroll in Obamacare in 2015, you’ll be fined 2% of your income or $325 per adult, whichever is higher.
You can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at any time. There is no limited enrollment period for these programs; if you qualify then you can enroll immediately.
Coverage start dates
If you enroll before the 15th of the month, your coverage starts the first day of the next month. If you enroll after the 15th of the month, you’ll have to wait until the month after that for your coverage to start. So if you enroll on January 16, your coverage starts on March 1.