When Does Your Health Insurance Coverage Begin?

Understanding Health Insurance Coverage Effective Dates

Once you have picked a health insurance policy and paid your first month’s premium, you probably expect your coverage to begin immediately. However, depending on when you enrolled and under what circumstances, you may have several weeks before your health insurance coverage takes effect.

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When Does Health Insurance Coverage Begin?

Your health insurance plan’s effective date is the day your coverage kicks in. Depending on your policy, this is the date when your medical costs that you pay, copay’s or coinsurance, or prescription drugs, or when any money you spend on qualifying health care services counts towards your deductible and annual out-of-pocket limit.

Health Insurance Coverage Effective Dates

Types of Enrollment Periods

There are two types of enrollment periods. The period in which you sign up for coverage affects when coverage begins.

Open Enrollment Period

The Open Enrollment Period normally runs from November 1 through December 15th, but due to Covid, in 2022, the end date has been changed to January 15th, 2022. When you enroll in November or December, your health insurance takes effect on January 1st, unless you apply after 1/1/2022. If you apply after from 1/1/2022 through 1/15/2022, your coverage will begin 2/1/2022.

Special Enrollment Period

Beginning in 2022, if you sign up for a new policy during a Special Enrollment Period, the coverage will be effective on the first of the following month, regardless of when you signed up.  For example, if you do not sign up until July 17, your coverage will take effect August 1.

Certain life events such as the birth of a baby the coverage will begin the day of the birth of the baby.  Other life events such as a move, losing employer coverage, etc., would start a Special Enrollment Period of 60 days.  If you apply within those 60 days, and if you purchase a health insurance policy prior to the end of the month, then you can expect your health insurance to take effect on the first day of the following month.

Waiting to Purchase Coverage Is a Gamble

The benefits of robust health insurance are easy to overlook, especially if you are young or enjoy generally good health.  However, anyone can experience a sudden and serious injury or illness. Without health insurance coverage, you may be on the line for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt.  Because of the way health insurance enrollment periods and effective dates work, it is not a good idea to plan on waiting until you need coverage to purchase it.  You will find yourself uninsured with large medical bills.

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Finding Affordable Health Insurance with Nevada Insurance Enrollment

Understanding when your health insurance coverage goes into effect can help you make informed decisions about when to schedule primary care services or what your options are if you experience an injury or illness. At Nevada Insurance Enrollment, our experienced health insurance agents assist you in comparing policies and find the right one for your needs and budget. We can also help you review your health insurance policy and determine when your coverage begins.

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♦ President Biden’s Plan For Health Insurance


Read More: Health Insurance in Las Vegas, Nevada


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