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Prepare for Open Enrollment

September 09, 2021
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What is open enrollment? Open enrollment is the time period each year when you’re allowed to start, stop, or change your health insurance plan.

There are two important open enrollment categories of which we would like to highlight:



Marketplace/Affordable Care Act

Open Enrollment Starts

October 15th

November 1st

Open Enrollment Ends

December 7th

December 15th

Where Can I Learn More?


What If It Is My First Time Applying?

If you are approaching your 65th birthday, you can apply for Medicare during your birthday month as well as the 3 months before and 3 months after.

You should apply during the open enrollment period. You may also qualify for coverage during the special enrollment period (SEP) due to life changes. To learn more about the SEP and whether you qualify, click here.


What if I am still working? Open enrollment for benefits through your employer may NOT fall during the national open enrollment periods for healthcare coverage through Medicare or the Affordable Care Act. If you need to make changes to stop, start, or change benefits, you may do so during your employer’s open enrollment or by qualifying for special enrollment under these events:

  • Gaining or losing your job
  • Moving to a new state
  • Getting married, divorced, or legally separated
  • Becoming a widow or widower
  • Passing of a dependent
  • Aging off your parent’s plan
  • Having a new baby through birth or adoption
  • Change of your spouse’s employment/benefits

Typically, you have 30 days following these events to notify your employer. If you miss the deadline, you must wait until open enrollment to start, stop, or change coverage for you or your dependents.

Shouldn’t I just stick with the plan I already have? It can be tempting to just let things ride once you’ve enrolled in your health plan, whether it be through work, Medicare, or the Marketplace. However, it can benefit you to review things each year. Perhaps your insurer doesn’t offer the same plans next year or your medications may have changed. You may be missing out on cost savings or coverage that could be more advantageous to you.

For clients of Stonegate Financial, we have a resource catered specifically for those that are Medicare eligible called HealthPlanOne. They are a team of experts specializing in Medicare that can compare and contrast your Medicare and supplemental plan options and help you be sure you’re in the best plan possible. Please reach out if you would like to learn more!

For any questions about open enrollment, please feel welcome to reach out to your Stonegate Team!