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How to Prepare for Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for 2021 Marketplace coverage begins Sunday, Nov. 1. Whether you are applying for the first time or planning to re-enroll, there are things you should know about and things you can do now to get ready. 


Open Enrollment is the annual period of time when people can enroll in a health insurance plan. The timeframe this year is Sunday, Nov. 1 through Tuesday, Dec. 15 with coverage beginning Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. Aside from certain qualifying events that trigger special enrollment periods, this timeframe is the only time in which people are permitted to apply, adjust or update important benefits like health care, dental and vision coverage. 


Get familiar. The first step is to familiarize yourself with the Marketplace – sometimes called the “exchange” – by reading these quick tips. It is also helpful to review theOpen Enrollment FAQ. 

Gather the documents you will need. To ensure you are prepared and have everything you need, use checklist. While applying, you will be asked about your household, income and current coverage, and you may need to refer to specific documents such as W-2s, pay stubs or tax returns. Gathering the documents that you will need now will save time later. 

Prepare questions. Make a list of any possible question you may have. For example, you may want to stay with your current doctor or wonder how traveling may affect your health coverage. 

Set a budget. With all the different plans available, there are plans designed to fit different needs and budgets. You will need to know how much you are able to spend on premiums each month and how much you would like to pay for out-of-pocket for medications and services. 


It is normal to have a lot of questions, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is here to help answer them. Here are three ways to help you get covered for 2021. 

  1. Online: Visit BCBSM’s open enrollment webpage here to review plans and shop for coverage for 2020. If you already have an online account for a Blue Cross individual or family plan that’s in your name, you’ll be asked to log in. If not, you’ll be asked a few simple questions to get a quote for your coverage. 
  2. Over the phone: Call a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health plan advisor at 1-855-237-3501, or fill out this form to have a health plan advisor call you. 
  3. In-person: Blue Cross’ statewide walk-in centers are closed this year due to COVID-19.  

Selecting a health care plan can be confusing. Blue Cross’ expert health plan advisors can help you understand and find coverage that could be more affordable than you think. 


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