2021 Open Enrollment

While New York extended 2021 Open Enrollment to cover the entire year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all individual health insurance plans will still renew on January 1st, 2022. This means that if you intend to update your plan, you will still need to do so between November 1st and December 15th of this year.

When can I enroll?

When you can enroll depends on which program you are eligible for, which is based on age, income and other factors. Enrollment is open all year if you are eligible for:

  • Medicaid
  • Child Health Plus
  • Essential Plan

You can enroll in a Qualified Health Plan during the annual Open Enrollment Period, or a Special Enrollment Period, if you are eligible.

What is an Open Enrollment Period?

An Open Enrollment Period is a limited time of year – usually November through January – when you can enroll in a Qualified Health Plan. If you do not enroll during these months, you will need to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period. There are some exceptions. You may be able to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan outside the Open Enrollment Period if you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

NY State of Health

What Qualifying Life Events might make someone eligible for a Special Enrollment Period?

Qualifying Life Events may include:

  • Loss of health insurance (for reasons other than you did not
    pay your premium)
  • A permanent move into New York State or a move within the State that makes new health plans available to you (you must have had other coverage within the past 60 days)
  • Marriage or domestic partnership (you must have had other coverage within the past 60 days)
  • Divorce or legal separation
  • Pregnancy certified by a health care practitioner
  • Birth or adoption of a child, or placement of a child in foster care
  • Becoming eligible or ineligible for help paying for your Qualified Health Plan coverage
  • Becoming a citizen, national or lawfully present individual

NY State of Health

health insurance form at doctor's office
smiling African American couple getting health insurance
stethoscope over hundred dollar bills

What to Look for in a Health Insurance Plan

There are some key factors to consider when determining which health insurance coverage will be best for you.

The Network

A health insurance plan’s network lets you know which hospitals, doctors, and other types of health care providers will be covered under that specific plan. We recommend making a list of the doctors and hospitals you want to be included and going over it with your health insurance broker. They will compile a comprehensive list of the carriers and plans that cater to your specific needs.


Keeping health insurance costs within your means while ensuring that the coverage plan meets your needs can be something of a balancing act. Maybe you want health insurance coverage with low monthly premiums. But did you know that plans with lower monthly premiums have higher out-of-pocket expenses? It’s crucial to find out what costs are covered before and after reaching your deductible. Once again, your health insurance broker will be able to provide you with this information and help you find a plan with benefits outweighing the costs.

Note: Your current health insurance carrier will most likely contact you to present their renewal options. You are not limited to these plans, and additional options are available if they do not meet your needs.

Taking Advantage of Open Enrollment

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