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As we head into fall, our attention turns to the changing colors of the leaves, the alluring scent of warm apple cider, and the action on the gridiron at the high school, college, and professional levels.

Our attention also needs to turn to the open enrollment period for 2022.

Open enrollment represents the time of year when you can buy, stop, or change your health insurance plan. You typically sign up for a health insurance plan towards the end of the year for coverage that lasts all of the following year.

When is Open Enrollment for 2022?

Every year, the open enrollment period for private, individual health insurance plans lasts 45 days, from November 1 to December 15. To buy, stop, or change your health insurance plan for 2022, you have from November 1, 2021, until December 15, 2021, to get it done.

You have four ways to shop for a private, individual health insurance plan.

  • Access your state exchange or the federal marketplace at healthcare.gov
  • Call the marketplace call center at 800-318-2596
  • Visit an insurance company’s website
  • Use the Insurance Broker Hub platform to get a free quote

If you do not buy, stop, or change a health insurance plan between November 1 and December 15, then you must qualify to participate in a special enrollment period. Only a private plan purchased from your state exchange or the federal marketplace allows you to qualify for premium tax credits.

If you earn too much money and you do not qualify for tax credits, you have the option to buy a health insurance plan from another source.

Am I Eligible for an ACA Subsidy?

Every state makes premium tax credits (premium subsidies) available to help Americans purchase private, individual health insurance plans. Subsidies typically go to households that generate income up to 400 percent of the poverty level. However, under the terms written into the American Rescue Plan, the 400 percent poverty level limit does not apply in 2021 and 2022. For the two years, households that earn more than 400 percent above the poverty level might qualify for premium subsidies if a benchmark plan takes more than 8.5 percent of the household income.

Learn more in Are You Eligible for an ACA Subsidy or Tax Credit?

What Information Do I Need to Enroll in a Health Insurance Plan?

You have several ways to enroll in a health insurance plan during the 2022 open enrollment period. However, you must submit the same information regardless of which enrollment option that you choose.

The first section of the form submitted for health insurance wants your name, address, email address, Social Security number, and date of birth. You also need to submit your citizenship status and in some cases, you might have to include proof of lawful residency status.

Next comes information concerning the size of your household, as well as how much money you earned over the past year. You can submit one or more documents to verify your income, such as a W2 form, paycheck stub, and/or your most recently filed federal tax form.

Here are some other types of information that you must submit:

  • Policy details for any employer-sponsored plan that you can access
  • Payment preference that an insurance company uses to charge your monthly premiums
  • Name and zip code of your primary physician
  • List of medications taken by everyone covered by the plan

When Will My Health Insurance Plan Begin to Provide Coverage?

For most people, the coverage for health insurance starts on January 1, 2022, if you sign up for coverage during the open enrollment period from November 1, 2021, to December 15, 2021. If you currently have a plan and you decide to change it during the enrollment period, your new coverage also starts on New Year’s Day 2022.

If you enrolled in a health insurance plan during a special enrollment period in 2021, your coverage might not take place on January 1, 2022. The state where you live decides when coverage for health insurance begins.

How Do I Research Plans and Prices

Every state has set up a website where you can comparison shop for a health insurance plan. You can also find out more about plans in person or by phone.

Here are four tips to improve your research:

  • Get a free health insurance quote from Insurance Broker Hub
  • Comparison shop without providing your name and contact information on your state exchange
  • Meet with a health insurance consultant
  • Speak with your healthcare provider

Be Proactive With Insurance Broker Hub

Six weeks is not a lot of time to participate in open enrollment 2022. The narrow window means millions of Americans inundate the government’s enrollment system. Be proactive by conducting all your research before the open enrollment period begins. This way, all you have to do is finalize a few details to start your health insurance coverage on January 1, 2022.

Finding health insurance is still one of those things that is a mystery for many Americans, and navigating the maze that is healthcare.gov is rarely as easy as promised. If all this sounds confusing, we haven’t even gotten into the nuances that go into each state’s requirements for essential health benefits and the application process.

Don’t you wish there was an easier way?

Because there is. If you miss the idea of corporate open enrollment, having a qualified and knowledgeable health insurance broker walk you through your options at no cost to you, fret not. You can still get the assistance you need at no cost to you.

Our free service gives you access to an independent network of national brokers who have the experience and expertise to design a plan around your needs and budget. Our network of brokers will tailor a complete solution for your health coverage needs.

Ready to get started? Simply request a no obligation health insurance quote here.

Additional Open Enrollment Resources

Navigator vs. Broker: Who Should You Turn to for Help During Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment Primer: Federal, State, or Partnership?