It’s not too late. If you’re looking for insurance through the marketplace you can still sign up. As long as you enroll in a plan by March 31, you can get coverage for 2014 and avoid the penalty for going without it. That’s when open enrollment closes for 2014. If you started the marketplace enrollment process but had technical trouble completing it by the March 31 deadline, the Obama Administration says you could qualify for a “special enrollment period” and get extra time. Read more here and here.
After March 31, you can still get insurance outside the marketplace. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the next marketplace open enrollment, with few exceptions for special events like getting married or divorced, or losing a job. So far, the federal government scheduled the next marketplace open enrollment for Nov. 15.
The sooner you enroll and pay, the sooner your insurance will take effect. Check with your insurance plan to find out when your first premium payment is due.
And if you already bought a marketplace plan, you might be able to switch, as long as the new plan is with the same insurance company and in the same metal level as the original one you chose. (See What different kinds of insurance can I buy?) You must contact your insurance company to make the switch and you most likely have to do this before March 31. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the next open enrollment.
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