Most Americans sign up for an Obamacare plan during this time. In fact, over 12 million* enrolled in a marketplace plan during the 2015-2016 Open Enrollment Period.
If you previously signed up for coverage, you must re-enroll during Open Enrollment, even if you want to keep the same plan. For those happy with their current plan, Open Enrollment is also a good time to make updates to your plan, such as adding or removing dependents.
Important: December 15, 2016 is the enrollment deadline to avoid paying any of the tax penalty for going uninsured in 2017. Enrolling by the 15th of the current month means your coverage begins on the first of the next month. In other words, if you enroll by December 15, 2016, your coverage will start January 1st, 2017.
The 2017 tax penalty for going uninsured is the greater amount of
To avoid the tax penalty, you must have a "qualified plan," which is health insurance coverage that meets the Ten Essential Health Benefits. All Obamacare plans, either those purchased on our off the government exchanges are considered qualified plans.
Keep in mind that if you miss the December 15 deadline, but still enroll by January 31, you stand to face a tax penalty for the one or two months that you were without coverage. Even if you miss the December 15 deadline, it is still important to sign up as soon as possible. If you miss the January 31 deadline, there is a good chance you will have to pay the full tax penalty for 2017.
Please note that for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington residents only, the December 15 deadline is extended to December 23, 2016.
If you are not sure about your Open Enrollment eligibility, answer a few questions to begin checking your options. You can also call (877) 935-9291 to speak with an agent.