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What You Need to Know about Open Enrollment 2020

With the holiday season upon us, one of the first things that comes to mind is shopping. But make sure you check your lists; there may have been an item you forgot to shop for: Individual & Family Health Insurance

What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is a period towards the end of the year (November 1- December 15) where you can enroll in an & family health insurance plan or make changes to an existing plan for an effective date of 01/01/2020.

Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, you could face challenges signing up for individual health insurance. If you had a pre-existing condition(s), insurance carriers could deny you coverage or charge you higher rates.

After passing the ACA, you are now eligible to sign up and/or change your health insurance plans during the Open Enrollment period, knowing that you will get coverage and not be charged higher rates for your health history.

What happens if you miss Open Enrollment?

If you miss the Open Enrollment period, you may still be eligible to sign up for an Affordable Care Act plan if you or your family have a qualifying life event.

Those who have a qualifying life event enter a Special Enrollment period. Some common reasons you may enter a Special Enrollment period are: 

If you or anyone in your household had the following qualifying event occur in the past 60 days:

(Additional qualifying factors may apply)

  • Got married
  • Had a baby, adopted a child, or placed a child for foster care.
  • Got divorced or legally separated and lost health insurance.
  • Died (as a result you are now no longer eligible for your current health plan)
  • Moved to a new home in a new ZIP code or county
  • Moved to the U.S. from a foreign country or U.S. territory
  • Moved to or from the place you attend school
  • Moved to or from the place you live or work (Seasonal workers)
  • Moved to or from a shelter or other transitional housing
  • Lost job-based coverage
  • Aged out of a parent’s health insurance plan (Age 26)

 Desert Mountain Insurance can help you determine if you qualify for Special Enrollment

and what to do if you don't. 

Contact us today for a free evaluation of the types of coverage available to you!

What happens if I miss Open Enrollment and do not have a qualifying life event?

Those who did not enroll in coverage by the end of Open Enrollment and do not have a qualifying life event are still able to get health insurance. However, the plans are not regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Short-term coverage is the closest thing you can get to “real” health insurance.

Short Term health insurance plans are non-ACA, also referred to as Temporary or Term health insurance as it most frequently provides temporary coverage for times when you face a gap in your health insurance coverage. One of the most common reasons people elect short term medical insurance is:

  • If you are without health insurance due to missing Open Enrollment and don’t qualify for Special Enrollment or miss your 60-day Special Enrollment window.

Short term health insurance is a way to provide coverage for you or your family until you are eligible for a qualified health plan.

Where can I sign up for insurance?

Available plans for 2020 can be found on, however, Desert Mountain Insurance Services is a no-fees brokerage that helps individuals and families find the right plan. Choosing a health insurance plan can be an arduous process; we want to help you make an informed choice for the upcoming year and years to come. Being a brokerage allows us the ability to work with the leading carriers in Arizona; that way we can find the right plan for you.

If you would like us to help you find your plan for 2020 please visit our website or give us a call at 480.348.2200

Helpful tools:

Request a Quote:

Will you be eligible for a subsidy?

Glossary of common insurance terms: