Open enrollment season: What to know

The federal open enrollment period for 2022 closes Jan. 15

Open enrollment is an annual period during which people can sign up for health insurance or change their plans. 

If you do not sign up in the allotted time, you probably will not be able to sign up for health insurance until the next open enrollment period, pending a life-changing event that qualifies for a special enrollment period (SEP).


Open enrollment periods are used for most types of health insurance, including Medicare, job-based health insurance and insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace.

Alternatively, people can apply and enroll in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at any time of year. Year-round enrollment is also available in the Basic Health Programs in New York and Minnesota year-round, according to

"And, eligible residents can enroll in the new Covered Connecticut program through the end of December 2021. Enrollment is also available year-round for the ConnectorCare program in Massachusetts for people who are newly eligible or who haven’t enrolled before," the IHC Speciality Benefits agency website says.

Alaska Natives and Native Americans can also enroll in plans through the ACA marketplace year-round every year.

While the federal open enrollment period for 2022 began on Monday, Nov. 1 and closes on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, those who want coverage for the upcoming calendar year will need to enroll by Dec. 15, 2021. 

If you enroll for ACA-compliant health insurance coverage between Dec. 16, 2021, and Jan. 15, 2022, coverage will start on Feb. 1, 2022, says.

Customers get information from a reception desk at a UnitedHealthcare store in Queens, New York, Jan. 14, 2013. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images, File)

eHealth points out that some states have state-run health insurance marketplaces instead of using the federally-run marketplace and have the ability to extend open enrollment periods.

California, Colorado and Washington, D.C., have permanently extended open enrollment.

The Medicare open enrollment period runs until Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, each year. 


Unlike other health care recipients, Medicare beneficiaries have other time periods during the year when they can amend their benefits.

If you purchase your health insurance from your employer, your open enrollment period might change each year. Timing depends on several factors, but selection usually happens during the fall. During that time period, employees can purchase a different plan or choose to not get one at all.

In a statement on Nov. 1, President Biden encouraged Americans to sign up for affordable health coverage at

(Photo by Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21: U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on September 21, 2021 at U.N. headquarters in New York City. More than 100 heads of state or government are attending the session in p ((Photo by Timothy A. Clary-Pool/Getty Images) / Getty Images)

"I urge everyone to visit today to renew their coverage or shop for a plan," he said.

"Starting today, anyone who needs health insurance can find an affordable option at," Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said in his own statement. "The Biden-Harris Administration is investing in the most robust open enrollment campaign — with record-low prices, more choices and 30 more days to pick a plan than last season. Health care should be a right and in reach for everyone. This open enrollment season, we will get closer to achieving that goal."

Xavier Becerra testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on his nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that in week three of the 2022 open enrollment period, approximately 810,000 people selected individual market plans in the 33 states that utilize the platform and that approximately 2,435,000 people have selected individual market plans on HealthCare.Gov during the open enrollment period. 

"Approximately 2.8 million people newly gained access to affordable health care coverage during the 2021 (special enrollment period) — 2.1 million who enrolled in the states for 2021 and 738,000 who enrolled in 2021 state-based  marketplaces ahead of the 2022 open enrollment period," CMS added.


To apply for or re-enroll in marketplace coverage, visit or call 1-800-318-2596. TTY users can call 1-855-889-4325.

To enroll in Medicare, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit

FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.