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Home Knowledge CenterHealth Insurance Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment

Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment Periods

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

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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, 2022, your Open Enrollment Period would run from November 1-December 15, 2021.

Some states may have a longer Open Enrollment Period.

Special Enrollment

If you recently lost your health insurance coverage for any reason (including COVID-19) in the past 60 days or you expect to lose coverage in the next 60 days or had a major life event, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Qualifying major life events include:

  • 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

If you voluntarily dropped your coverage, you cannot qualify for a Special Enrollment Period unless you also had a decrease in household income or a change in your previous coverage that made you eligible.

During the Special Enrollment Period, you may qualify for both a premium tax credit and a cost-sharing reduction to help lower your health insurance premium and total out-of-pocket costs.

In certain instances, the Open Enrollment Period may be extended, or the eligibility requirements for the Special Enrollment Period may change.

Check the current status

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Plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company or its affiliates: For Arizona residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc. For Georgia residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc. For Illinois residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc. For North Carolina residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc.

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Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

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