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Ashley PoynterSep 244 min read

Is Open Enrollment the only time to get health insurance?

Updated: Sep 24

With Open Enrollment coming up in just a few months, many people are wondering if the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is the only time to purchase a new health insurance plan. The answer to this is dependent upon certain factors that will be unique to your situation.

For individuals looking to purchase a plan, you may have a few options. In some cases, you can purchase private health plans directly from insurance companies outside Open Enrollment. Some of these plans are considered “qualifying health coverage,” which means they meet all the requirements of the health care law. What does that mean? It means those plans must cover pre-existing conditions, provide free preventive care, and cannot cap annual benefits.

If you want to find a plan through the Marketplace, you’ll need to wait for Open Enrollment, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Many people opt to pick a plan through the Marketplace because that is the only way to get premium tax credits and other income-based savings on health insurance plans. Open Enrollment will run from November 1, 2020 to December 15, 2020 in all states that use HealthCare.gov.

If you’re wondering if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you can check here. Typically, Special Enrollment Periods are reserved for those who have experienced specific life events, like having a baby/adopting a child, getting married, getting divorced, moving, or losing health coverage. In those cases, you can have either 60 days prior to or 60 days after the event to enroll in a health plan. Be sure to pay special attention to the timing because if you miss your window, you may not be able to enroll in a new plan until the next major EOP.

Decent health for freelancers

Ok, so we may not have told you the entire story above. That’s great news! For freelancers and other self-employed individuals who are looking to switch plans or find health insurance, you don’t have to wait for any OEP to enroll in a great plan!

Decent offers unique plans to help freelancers get affordable, comprehensive coverage as they build the work-life of their dreams. The best part? You can enroll at any time. Just find the right plan for your needs:

  • Pathfinder Bronze Plan — Want coverage just in case something bad happens? This plan is perfect for you. Members of this plan enjoy the lowest premiums in Austin.

- Lonestar Bronze Plan— Expect to use your insurance from time to time? You’ll dig this plan. Members of this plan geek out on the $0 medical deductible.

- Trailblazer Silver Plan — Need coverage for your family, medical conditions, or prescriptions? This plan is your jam. Members of this plan brag about the manageable copays for most everything.

There are so many amazing benefits to enrolling in this plan, but one of our favorites is that we made visits to your doctor free. Yep. Free, as in $0, zip, zilch, zero. You simply choose which plan works best for you along with whether you’d like to receive standard or virtual care options. Then, you can see your doctor (either in-person or virtually) with same- and next-day appointment and pay nothing out of pocket. It’s that easy!

Decent health for small business owners

This might be news to some of you, but Decent now offers health plans for small business owners and their employees! Yep, we’ve expanded our offerings to help small businesses get covered.

It’s super simple: small business owners can sign up to cover themselves and their employees with one of our amazing plans. How? Decent has rethought health insurance from the bottom up in order to get you the best pricing in the market for ACA compliant plans. Our revolutionary structure allows us to offer small businesses comprehensive plans at prices closer to those previously only enjoyed by large self funded company plans.

Due to rising costs, many small businesses are faced with the tough decision of foregoing health insurance all together, at a time when healthcare coverage is extremely important.

Large employers have been driving progress in the health insurance industry by taking advantage of their scale to customize how they take care of their employees in a more affordable way. Decent is expanding access to this model so that everybody can access the benefits that were previously only available to companies with the money and size to self insure. And you can enroll anytime.

Ready to get started with the coolest health insurance in Texas? Rad. Get started today.