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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Important Dates for 2016 Open Enrollment

December 18, 2015
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During open enrollment you have a window of time to select — or change — health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Whether you are Important Dates for 2016 Open Enrollment [Infographic]looking for a less expensive health insurance solution for your employees, utilizing a defined contribution health plan, or your employees would like to change their individual health plans — open enrollment is the time when all of this is possible.

Listed below are key deadlines you need to be aware of during open enrollment and why they are important.

November 1, 2015

This date marked the start of open enrollment. While you can enroll any time between November 1st and January 31st, the earlier you enroll, the sooner your coverage can begin.

December 17, 2015

Typically, the last day to enroll in or change plans that will become effective January 1st is December 15th. However, Healthcare.gov granted a 48 hour extension due to unprecedented demand, giving individuals more time to shop for policies. If you miss this deadline, your new coverage will not begin until February 1st.

January 1, 2016

As mentioned above, if you enroll in or change plans by December 17th, your 2016 coverage will begin on January 1st.

January 15, 2016

This is the last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start February 1st. If you miss this deadline, your new coverage will not begin until March 1st.

January 31, 2016

This is the last day you are able to enroll in or change health coverage. If you miss this deadline, you may not have health insurance coverage for all of 2016. The only exception to this is if you qualify for a special enrollment period. To qualify, you will need to have experienced certain life events such as birth of a child, adoption, marriage, or divorce. You have 60 days after a qualifying life event to apply for health coverage under the special enrollment period.

What questions do you have about open enrollment deadlines?

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