Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment

Plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company

Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment Periods

Learn more about enrolling in a plan or making changes to your current plan.

There are certain times during the year when you can buy a health plan directly through Cigna or on the Health Insurance Marketplace. These periods of time are called the Open Enrollment and the Special Enrollment periods.

When to shop for Health Insurance on the Marketplace

Open Enrollment

The Open Enrollment Period is the time when individuals and families can buy a new health plan or make changes to their current health plan directly through Cigna or on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Plans that are effective on January 1 have an Open Enrollment Period from November 1 - December 15 of the year before, in most states.

For example, if you wanted to enroll or make changes to a plan with an effective date of January 1, 2021, your Open Enrollment Period would run from November 1 - December 15, 2020.

Some states may have a longer Open Enrollment Period.1

Special Enrollment

If a major event happens in your life such as losing your health coverage, getting married, or the birth or adoption of a child, the Special Enrollment Period allows you to make changes to your health coverage. These major life changes are known as a qualifying life event. You’ll have 60 days to change your health plan from the date of the qualifying life event.

Examples of qualifying life events:

  • You lose your health insurance plan at work
  • You get married or divorced
  • You have or adopt a child
  • You're no longer a dependent on someone else's policy
  • You gained or became a dependent through marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption
  • You lose Medicaid or CHIP coverage
  • Your insurance carrier made a mistake on your insurance contract or made an enrollment error
  • You have a Marketplace plan and your status for getting help to pay for your plan changes
  • You moved and need to pick another plan based on the insurance coverage area
  • Your immigration status changes
  • And other qualifying life events

1 Some states may have a longer Open Enrollment period.