Open enrollment: 2015 dates to know

It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since the Affordable Care Act went live and Open Enrollment 2014 began. And now we’re headed into Open Enrollment 2015.

What’s Open Enrollment? Good question. Basically, it’s when you’re able to choose a health insurance plan on the Exchange for 2015. If you miss Open Enrollment, you won’t be able to purchase new coverage for 2015 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Unlike last year, Open Enrollment doesn’t start on October 1. Instead it starts November 15th, 2014, and goes until February 15th 2015. It’s particularly important to note that while the deadline extends until February, you’ll only be able to get coverage beginning January 1, 2015 if you enroll by the 15th of December. That’s one short month between the beginning of open enrollment and that important deadline.

We’ll have more to share as we approach Open Enrollment, including details on how to re-enroll in your current coverage and how to make sure you continue getting financial help to pay your premiums. So stay tuned.

Open Enrollment 2014 Timeline

Open Enrollment is just the beginning. Healthcare.gov has provided a list of key dates, so keep these in mind as you’re considering coverage for next year.

  • November 15, 2014. Open Enrollment begins. Apply for, keep, or change your coverage.
  • December 15, 2014. Enroll by the 15th if you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015. If you want to change plans, enroll by the 15th to avoid a lapse in coverage.
  • December 31, 2014. Coverage ends for 2014 plans.
  • Coverage for 2015 plans can start as soon as January 1st.
  • February 15, 2015. This is the last day you can apply for 2015 coverage before the end of Open Enrollment.

As always, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are here to help. You can reach out to us with questions by calling the number on the back of your card.

Editor’s Note: This article appears on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina blog. Visit for more health insurance how-to’s, healthy living tips and more.

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