Open Enrollment Period

Last Updated: December 28, 2017

Definition - What does Open Enrollment Period mean?

The open enrollment is the time of year during which patients can sign up for health insurance. If they miss this window, they must wait until the next enrollment period, unless they meet the requirements for a qualifying event.

Insuranceopedia explains Open Enrollment Period

Medicare’s open enrollment varies depending on the choice of healthcare plan. Open enrollment includes job-based health insurance plans in addition to individual health insurance policies. Patients with existing Medicare health plans can make changes to them during this period, as well as modify their prescription drug coverage.

Those who experience a qualifying life event are eligible for a special enrollment period. These events include:

  • Losing existing coverage
  • Marriage, divorce, becoming a parent
  • Moving to a different part of the country
  • Changes in income
  • Release from prison
  • Acquiring citizenship status
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