Open Enrollment starts November 1 and ends January 31. Open Enrollment happens once a year. It is the only time you can enroll in coverage unless you have a major life event.
If you have a life-changing event, you can buy health coverage without waiting for the yearly Open Enrollment. Certain events such as losing job-based coverage, having a baby, or moving all qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
If you qualify for an SEP, you usually have up to 60 days after the event to enroll in a plan. If you miss that 60-days, you have to wait until the next Open Enrollment to apply.
Note: You can enroll in NJ FamilyCare, the state’s publicly funded health insurance program with free or low-cost health coverage, any time of year without qualifying for an SEP.
What is a life-changing event?
- Losing health coverage, such as job-based, individual, and student plans
- Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP
- Reaching age 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan
- Had a baby, adopted a child, or placed a child for foster care
- Got married
- Got divorced or legally separated and lost health insurance
- Moved to New Jersey or a new area within New Jersey
- Moved to New Jersey from a foreign country or U.S. territory
- If you're a student, moved to or from the place you attend school
- Moved to or from a shelter or other transitional housing
- Changes in your income that affect the coverage you qualify for
- Becoming a U.S. citizen
- Leaving incarceration (jail or prison)
- AmeriCorps members starting or ending their service