How Do I Get an Individual Health Insurance Plan?

How Do I Get an Individual Health Insurance Plan?

How Do I Get an Individual Health Insurance Plan?

There are two times when you can get a health insurance plan, called open enrollment or special enrollment periods. 

The "open enrollment period" starts on Nov. 1 each year. Any other time it is called “special enrollment period ” . To get health insurance during special enrollment, you must have had a qualifying "life event" within the past 60 days. Examples include losing your job, moving to a new area, getting married or having a child

The good news is there are tools to help. You can use Provider Finder and Premium Tax Estimator leaving site icon to help you understand your choices. That can make the health insurance selection process simpler. Visit or  leaving site icon to view options for family and individual health insurance plans.

Provider Finder® lets you search our large network of doctors, dentists, hospitals and other health providers. You can look for a new doctor in your area that accepts the family or individual health insurance plan you’re thinking of getting. If you already have a doctor that you want to stick with, you can use it to see if your current doctor accepts the plan you’re considering.

Premium Tax Estimator gives you an estimate of how much financial assistance you may qualify for based on income and household size. This premium tax credit  amount is only an estimate. Your official premium tax credit will come from the State Health Insurance Marketplace leaving site icon if you are eligible for one.

If you’re on any prescription drugs, be sure to check the standard drug list and generic drug list to make sure the plan covers your meds.

After you’ve selected a plan that fits your budget, medical and prescription drug needs, be sure to track your application status.

Originally published October 20, 2017; Revised 2018, 2021