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Important Health Insurance Marketplace dates

You can generally buy Marketplace health insurance only during the annual Open Enrollment period. Upcoming dates to know:

  • March 31, 2014: 2014 Open Enrollment ended
  • November 15, 2014: 2015 Open Enrollment starts
  • February 15, 2015: 2015 Open Enrollment ends

To buy Marketplace insurance outside Open Enrollment, you must qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of other health coverage.

Learn about special enrollment periods and other health coverage options after Open Enrollment.

Use these links to learn more about:

2014 Open Enrollment is Over

Open Enrollment for 2014 coverage ended March 31, 2014. You generally can’t enroll in a private health plan through the Marketplace for the rest of 2014.

The exception is if you have a special enrollment period. that allows you to enroll outside Open Enrollment. You can qualify for a special enrollment period 2 ways:

Learn about special enrollment periods and other health coverage options after Open Enrollment.

The Open Enrollment period for 2015 coverage is from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2015.

If you don’t have health coverage in 2014, you must either pay a fee or get an exemption from the fee.

Getting coverage outside of Open Enrollment

If you own or operate a small business, you can start offering coverage to your employees at any time.

2015 Open Enrollment

The Open Enrollment period for 2015 coverage is November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

If you haven’t enrolled in coverage by then, you generally can’t buy Marketplace health coverage for 2015 until the next Open Enrollment period for coverage the following year.

If you don’t have health coverage during 2015, you may have to pay a fee. The fee in 2015 is higher than it was in 2014 — 2% of your income or $325 per adult/$162.50 per child, whichever is more.

Enrollment and coverage start dates

During Open Enrollment, if you enroll:

  • Between the 1st and 15th days of the month, your coverage starts the first day of the next month.
  • Between the 16th and the last day of the month, your coverage starts the first day of the second following month. So if you enroll on March 16, your coverage starts on May 1.

You may buy Marketplace insurance outside Open Enrollment only if you qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of other health coverage. Learn more about how you qualify for a special enrollment period.

You can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time. There is no limited enrollment period for these programs. You can apply any time. If you’re qualified, you can enroll immediately.

If you own or operate a small business, you can start offering coverage to your employees at any time.

Medicaid & CHIP enrollment

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are combined state-federal programs for some people with limited incomes or disabilities.

You can apply for Medicaid or CHIP coverage at any time by applying directly to your state agency. If you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, your coverage can begin immediately.

You can also find out if you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP coverage by filling out a Marketplace application any time of year. If it looks like you’re eligible for either program, we’ll send your information to the state agency. They’ll contact you to finish enrollment.

Many states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all residents with income below a certain level. Learn if your state is expanding Medicaid and what this means for you.

Enrollment for small businesses

Employers generally can start offering health insurance coverage to their employees at any time during the year.

This is true whether you buy coverage through the SHOP Marketplace, an agent or broker, or directly from an insurance company.

Learn more about SHOP coverage for businesses with 50 or fewer employees.