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Health Insurance Open Enrollment Begins Now: What You Need to Know  

It’s open enrollment time for health insurance. You may hear about this from your employer, or from a commercial on TV or on the radio.  

But what does this mean for you? Here’s a basic explainer to get you started.   

Who  

Eligible individuals can purchase health insurance on or off-marketplace. If you’re over 65, you may qualify for Medicare coverage – which has its own enrollment period.  

When 

Open enrollment is extended 30 days this year running Nov. 1, 2021 through Jan. 15, 2022. During this period, eligible individuals can sign up for 2022 plan year coverage.  

What 

This is the time when individuals can newly enroll in a plan or make changes to their current health insurance coverage. Selections made from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Enrollments made between Dec. 16 and Jan. 15 will have coverage effective Feb. 1, 2022.  

This is the main time to sign up for health insurance. Outside of this open enrollment period, an individual must have a qualifying life event, such as getting married or having a child, to be eligible for a special enrollment period to get coverage.  

Where  

Individuals can buy health insurance directly from a private insurance company like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network, or from the marketplace at healthcare.gov 

Some employers offer health insurance to their employees as a part of their benefit package. If this is available to you, your human resources department may provide you with information about the plan offerings available to you in 2022 and how to enroll or make changes in your selections.  

How  

Blue Cross and Blue Care Network members can review their current coverage and make changes online through their member account. If it’s your first time logging in, find your ID card and follow these directions:   

  1. Go to bcbsm.com  
  2. Click the Login button at the top of the screen 
  3. Click Register Now and follow the instructions to create your account 

If you’re interested in an individual plan or family plan offered by Blue Cross or Blue Care Network, here’s how to learn more:  

If you’re interested in seeing if you qualify for free or subsidized health insurance, visit healthcare.gov to review the options available to you on the marketplace.  

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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