• Ashley Poynter

I missed open enrollment. Now what?

Panicking might seem like that is your only option if you are a self-employed individual who is responsible for acquiring and paying for your own health insurance. It might especially seem like the only option if you’ve missed the all-important “open enrollment window”. Before we go on, let’s clarify:


We’re here to help. We have options. It’s going to be ok.



See if you qualify for a special enrollment period

First things first: consider whether or not you may qualify to sign up for a plan outside of the open enrollment window:


  • During a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event

  • Via a short-term medical plan

  • Through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)


To qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event, consider if one of the following applies to you:


  • Losing health coverage due to divorce, loss of a job, loss of Medicaid or CHIP eligibility, or expiring COBRA coverage.

  • Marriage

  • Birth or adoption of a child

  • A permanent move to a location with different health insurance options

  • Ageing off a parent’s health insurance plan.

  • A change in income or in household status that impacts eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions

  • Involuntary cancelation of plan by insurance company.


If so, you might qualify for a special 60-day enrollment period in order to purchase a health plan. If your insurance was canceled voluntarily or if you lost health insurance due to premium nonpayment, you will not qualify for a special enrollment period.


Gather the right info

If you’ve determined you qualify for a special enrollment period, great! Even if you do not qualify, there are other options to consider. In both cases, there are several pieces of information you’re going to need to have on hand as you choose and enroll in a plan. Consider gathering the following information to make enrollment easier once you find a plan that works for you (and your family):


  • Social security numbers for all family members that will be covered by a plan

  • Tax information

  • Birth dates and other relevant information for your spouse and any dependents you want covered under your plan

  • A list of health care needs (do you or a family member have a chronic disease? Are you in need of certain medications?)

  • Your budget for health care (a rough idea of how much you can afford in monthly premiums and potentially an idea of desirable deductible and max out-of-pocket costs)


Having this information available can make the enrollment process much easier and stress-free. This applies whether you are looking for a plan during a special enrollment period on the exchange, are enrolling in Medicaid, or are considering an alternative health care option.


Decent: always open for your health care needs

Great news! Decent offers “always on” healthcare options for your convenience. We believe that finding a high-quality, affordable health insurance plan shouldn’t be rocket science, so we made it super simple. We got rid of the “window” of opportunity and, well, we knocked down a few walls, too. Our broad coverage health care plans are available for enrollment around the year. Enroll on any one of 365 days. Does today work for you? Cool. How about tomorrow? Awesome. How about three months and two days from yesterday? Perfect!


In addition to our “always on” healthcare options, we provide users a way to shop for and enroll in better care that is more tailored to their needs—at any time. If you feel you’re currently overpaying for your health insurance or that your coverage falls short, you now have an alternative option that is available year-round.


Just get a fast quote by filling out our online quote form. If the recommended plan and pricing meet your needs, you can switch from your current plan right away. Upon enrollment, the plan will begin 30 days past the first of the upcoming month (e.g. if enrollment occurs on April 22, the plan will begin on June 1). Don't panic! We're always here to help.

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