The 2018 open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) starts on November 1, 2017. Key deadlines are:
- November 1, 2017: Open enrollment starts. If you need new coverage you will be able to shop and enroll in a new plan starting on this date.
- December 15, 2017: Deadline to submit an application for a health insurance policy. If you did not submit your application for a health insurance plan or confirm that you are renewing your old policy by this date, you may be taxed for not complying with the law. Your insurance policy will begin on January 1st.
If you don’t enroll by this deadline you will not be able to enroll again until the next open enrollment period on November 2018 unless you have a special qualifying life event that allows you to enroll in a plan outside of the enrollment period. Examples of qualifying life events might be if you move to a new state and your plan isn’t offered there, you get divorced and lose the plan you had through your spouse, you turn 26 years old and can no longer be on your parent’s plan or you lose the coverage you had from your employer.
Under the law, the fine for not having health insurance is $695 per uninsured adult and $347.50 per uninsured child in the family or 2.5% of the adjusted household income, whichever amount is higher.
If an individual or family earns under a certain amount of money, they can enroll in their state’s Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) healthcare plan. There is no open enrollment period for Medicaid or CHIP and people can apply whenever they become eligible.
For information on 2016 Open Enrollment deadlines go here.