What to Know About Health Insurance Open Enrollment 2022

Here are all the dates, deadlines and details you need to know to get health insurance coverage for 2022.

Health insurance open enrollment runs from Nov. 1, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022.

This open enrollment period is for people who want to get health insurance coverage from the federal marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Not everyone gets health coverage from the Obamacare marketplace, though. Some get it from an employer. Others get it from Medicare or Medicaid.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about the 2022 health insurance open enrollment dates and details associated with employer and Obamacare coverage.

This article also answers common and important open enrollment questions, including:

When is open enrollment for health insurance 2022?

The 2022 Obamacare open enrollment period goes from Nov. 1, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022.

Within this window, you can enroll in, re-enroll in or change a health insurance plan through the health insurance marketplace — or health exchange, as some call it.

You might have even longer to buy health insurance for 2022 if you live in:

  • California
  • New York
  • Washington, D.C.

These states run their own health insurance exchanges or marketplaces. Because of that, they can expand their open enrollment windows.

For 2022, this means you can get health insurance between the following dates in California, New York and Washington, D.C.

Extended health insurance open enrollment periods for 2022
State or district 2022 open enrollment period
California Nov. 1, 2021, through Jan. 31, 2022
New York Nov. 16, 2021, through Jan. 31, 2022
Washington, D.C. Nov. 1, 2021, through Jan. 31, 2022

When is open enrollment if I get health insurance from an employer?

The open enrollment periods tied to employer-sponsored health insurance plans often happen between October and December.

We can’t give you more specific dates because every employer sets its own health insurance open enrollment period.

So, if you get health insurance from an employer and you don’t know its open enrollment 2022 deadlines, check with human resources.

Is open enrollment only once a year?

Yes, health insurance open enrollment happens just once a year.

For example, unless you qualify for a special enrollment period, you can only get Obamacare coverage during the open enrollment period that starts at the end of the year. The same tends to be true of health coverage you get from an employer.

In other words, you usually can’t get health insurance any time you want.

When does 2022 health insurance coverage start?

Most 2022 health insurance plans start on Jan. 1.

If you want Obamacare coverage and you live in a state with expanded open enrollment, it may not take effect until later.

Most employer-sponsored health insurance plans also start on Jan. 1. That’s not true of all employers, though, so check with yours if you don’t know when its 2022 coverage begins.

Do I have to wait for open enrollment to get health insurance for 2022?

You have to wait for open enrollment to get coverage for 2022 through the health insurance marketplace or an employer.

The only way you can get these kinds of health insurance plans outside open enrollment is to qualify for a special enrollment period.

Open enrollment impacts on uninsured rates

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, QuoteWizard analysts have been tracking health insurance changes. And while the number of uninsured Americans has gone down by 14% since the beginning of the year, health insurance coverage varies wildly by state. Maine, for example, saw a 124% increase in their number of uninsured residents, while states like Minnesota had a 40% decrease in their uninsured rate.

States with the most uninsured
State Uninsured January 2021 Currently uninsured % change in uninsured
U.S. Average 14% 12% -16%
Alabama 18% 13% -29%
Alaska 13% 11% -13%
Arizona 13% 10% -23%
Arkansas 11% 10% -10%
California 12% 10% -15%
Colorado 11% 9% -22%
Connecticut 8% 5% -41%
Delaware 9% 7% -26%
Florida 17% 18% 2%
Georgia 18% 14% -18%
Hawaii 10% 4% -55%
Idaho 13% 12% -10%
Illinois 8% 11% 28%
Indiana 10% 8% -17%
Iowa 7% 4% -46%
Kansas 13% 11% -15%
Kentucky 10% 10% 5%
Louisiana 11% 12% 11%
Maine 5% 12% 124%
Maryland 6% 6% 2%
Massachusetts 5% 0% 100%
Michigan 9% 8% -5%
Minnesota 7% 4% -40%
Mississippi 15% 13% -17%
Missouri 13% 13% -4%
Montana 9% 10% 13%
Nebraska 5% 9% 79%
Nevada 17% 12% -27%
New Hampshire 8% 0% -100%
New Jersey 9% 7% -14%
New Mexico 13% 9% -27%
New York 8% 8% -9%
North Carolina 14% 12% -11%
North Dakota 10% 8% -22%
Ohio 9% 7% -23%
Oklahoma 20% 17% -16%
Oregon 9% 8% -8%
Pennsylvania 7% 7% -5%
Rhode Island 6% 0% -100%
South Carolina 16% 12% -24%
South Dakota 13% 8% -44%
Tennessee 12% 12% -1%
Texas 26% 21% -21%
Utah 8% 7% -8%
Vermont 5% 1% -79%
Virginia 8% 7% -7%
Washington 10% 8% -20%
West Virginia 9% 7% -21%
Wisconsin 5% 5% -7%
Wyoming 19% 15% -21%
QuoteWizard analysts tracked health insurance coverage by monitoring changes in the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Household Pulse Survey.

Can I get health insurance outside of open enrollment?

You can get health insurance from the Obamacare marketplace or an employer outside open enrollment if you qualify for a special enrollment period.

To qualify for a special enrollment period, you need to go through a life change or qualifying life event like:

  • Getting married.
  • Getting divorced or legally separated and losing health insurance.
  • Having a baby, adopting a child or placing a child for foster care.
  • Moving to a new ZIP code or county.
  • Losing your job.
  • Losing health coverage — including Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP — for some other reason.

Keep in mind that you usually need to have gone through one of these life events in the last 60 days to qualify for a special enrollment period.

How do I get health insurance if I miss open enrollment?

You can still get health insurance coverage if you miss the 2022 open enrollment deadlines by:

  • Qualifying for a special enrollment period.
  • Getting a new or additional job that offers health insurance.
  • Getting short-term health insurance.
  • Qualifying for Medicaid or CHIP coverage.

Is health insurance mandatory for 2022?

Health insurance is not mandatory for most Americans in 2022.

The Affordable Care Act used to require people to carry “qualifying health coverage.” Those who didn’t had to pay a fee when they filed their federal taxes.

The federal government no longer penalizes people for not having health insurance. Some states do, though. If you live in one of them, you will pay a fee with your state taxes if you don’t have health coverage in 2022.

These states currently require health insurance:

Washington, D.C., also requires health insurance coverage.

How do I apply for Obamacare?

You can apply for 2022 Obamacare coverage over the phone, through the mail or online.

Does your state run its own exchange or marketplace? If so, you’ll need to contact it or use its website to get health insurance coverage for 2022.

Don’t worry if you have no idea whether your state runs its own exchange. When you go to apply for Obamacare coverage at healthcare.gov, it will tell you.

Before you take any of the steps mentioned above, though, figure out which type of Obamacare plan is right for you.

What do I need to apply for Obamacare?

You need to have certain pieces of information and documents on hand when you apply for 2022 Obamacare coverage. They include:

  • Your Social Security Number.
  • The Social Security Numbers of anyone else who will be on your plan.
  • The birth dates and addresses of anyone your plan will cover.
  • W-2 statements or employer and income information for anyone your plan will cover.
  • Information about your current health insurance coverage (if you currently have coverage).
  • An estimate of your 2021 household income.

Is it too late to get health insurance for 2021?

It is too late to get 2021 health insurance coverage from the Obamacare marketplace or from an employer if you haven’t recently gone through a qualifying life event.

When was open enrollment for 2021?

Open enrollment for 2021 Obamacare health insurance coverage ran from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15,  2020, in most states. Some states extended open enrollment beyond that date.

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