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Buyer’s remorse? You can switch your health plan

The window of time when most people can sign up for health insurance, called open enrollment, runs from November 1 through January 31. If you pick a plan and then decide you want to switch, you can do it anytime during the open enrollment period.


By Kate Awsumb
August 2, 2017

     


You’re leaving the department store with your brand new dress when a different one catches your eye. Thanks to the store’s exchange policy, you can switch out the dress in hand for the one you really want.

Luckily buying health insurance during open enrollment is the same way. Let’s take a look:

Change plans after you’ve picked yours

The window of time when most people can sign up for health insurance, called open enrollment, runs from November 1 through January 31. If you pick a plan and then decide you want to switch, you can do it anytime during the open enrollment period.

  • For example, say you sign up for a plan in December. Then decide in January that it’s not the best one for you. You can switch, but you have to do it by January 31.

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If you realize the plan you picked isn’t a good fit, but you need help finding the best plan for you, these three people can help.

How to switch plans during open enrollment:

  • If you purchased through a health insurance company or broker: Call them directly. They can change your plan for you.
  • If you purchased through the exchange: Log onto your MNsure or Healthcare.gov account to make a change.

Your next chance to switch: Life event or next open enrollment

You can change your plan outside of the open enrollment period only if you have a life event. This gets you a “special enrollment period.” These include:

  • You get married, divorced or legally separated
  • You give birth to or adopt a child
  • You or your spouse change or lose your job
  • Your spouse or child dies
  • You move to a different state where your current plan doesn’t cover you

If you have one of these events, contact your insurance company to find out your options.

No qualifying life event? You’re next chance will be November 1.

About Kate Awsumb

Kate Awsumb is a journalist and communications consultant for HealthPartners who has worked with many government, nonprofit, and private organizations to make health information easy to understand and easy to use. Her writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Men’s Health, StarTribune, Minnesota Parent and the Twin Cities Moms Blog. She holds master’s degrees in health communication and public health, making her a perfect fit for the Health Insurance Help blog.Kate believes health is so much more than not being sick – it keeps us doing what we love, traveling to new places and chasing our kids around the backyard.When she’s not working, you’ll find Kate running, hiking, biking, rowing, snowshoeing, or otherwise on the move with her husband, young daughter and Boston terrier.

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