What you need to know for open enrollment

Contact: Jennifer Bowen
(334) 269-3550


The open enrollment period for 2021 health insurance coverage through marketplaces and other individual plans is here. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has what you need to know to enroll. 

Consumers in most states, including Alabama, use the federal marketplace through Healthcare.gov, and for them, open enrollment runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. 

Those who currently have marketplace coverage, or will need it in 2021, should make time to shop for plans. If you already have coverage through a marketplace plan, review your information to make sure it is accurate. You can update your application with any income and/or household changes. You might qualify for a different amount of financial assistance or find a different plan that costs less and/or better meets your needs. 

The NAIC’s Health Insurance Shopping Tool provides a 3-step process to compare different health insurance policies. Use the tool to understand how different policies support your health care needs. 

What to Look For 

If your plan is no longer available in 2021, you should receive a notice from your insurer and the marketplace. Even if your plan is continuing, it pays to shop around and check whether the doctors and/or hospitals your family uses are in the plan's networks. 

If you're looking for a new plan, there are four categories of health insurance plans to choose from on the marketplace — Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. They're broken up by how costs are shared between you and your insurer. A fifth category, Catastrophic, is available for consumers under 30 years of age or who face a hardship in accessing the other plans. Learn more about the different plans and network types. 

Read the NAIC’s Consumer Insight on comprehensive health coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic