So You Missed Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment for 2019 ran from November 1 through December 15, 2018. You may be kicking yourself for missing the dates, but there are still options if you missed open enrollment. You can still have insurance coverage. You can still have medical care.

  1. Pay Cash

    You can pay cash for medical care at a decreased rate when you make arrangements with them prior. Many rural and local clinics also offer sliding fee scales based on income that can help patients receive care at affordable rates. If this is your only option, you need to call and get on the program immediately because many of them have waiting lists with openings far into the future. 

  2. Medicaid and CHIP

    People and families who qualify for Medicaid or CHIP programs can enroll at anytime. You may be surprised to find you qualify. Check these eligibility requirements to find out if you can enroll today.

  3. Qualifying Event

    If you have a qualifying event, you can enroll during a special enrollment period (SEP). A qualifying event may include getting married, having a baby,  losing coverage through terminated employment or aging out of a parent's plan, or moving. Your income may also qualify you for a special enrollment period. You might be surprised what will qualify you. For instance, gaining membership into a native tribe, becoming a U.S. citizen, or even being released from jail or prison will qualify you for a SEP.

  4. Short Term Insurance

    You may be able to enroll in short term insurance coverage until the next qualifying event or open enrollment period. These plans are highly customizable, and cover a wide range of medical needs, including hospital stays, emergency room visits, diagnostic services, ambulance and surgical services, and routine doctor visits.

  5. Primary Care Memberships

    More and more physicians are participating in memberships in which patients pay a monthly fee in order to be seen by the group of participating physicians. Memberships generally include routine healthcare services, exams, and minimal procedures. In addition to a membership, you may want to purchase an insurance plan which covers accidents.

  6. Health-Sharing Plans

    Cheaper than traditional insurance, health-sharing plans are usually created and sustained by like-minded religious organizations or communities. This is an alternative to insurance that was grandfathered into ACA, and can help people get valuable and life-saving medical services. In a health-sharing plan, a group of people share the cost of healthcare services, keeping costs low for everyone, and allowing everyone to receive care.

  7. Other Health Insurance

    If you aren't able to enroll in regular health insurance, you can opt for a high-deductible health plan, health savings account, and catastrophic coverage, which combined, will cover your bases and keep you from crippling medical debt if medical need arises.

It may be that you don't even need to worry about missing the enrollment period. If your income, state benefits, or condition qualifies you for Medicaid for instance, or if you are Native American or Alaskan. Find out what your options are, and get yourself covered to avoid serious debt and to make sure you have access to life-saving care and services should the  need arise.

Not sure you have an Rx plan? You can claim your PharmaQuotes discount card now and start savings today.

So You Missed Open Enrollment?

Meet the Author:

Rachel Ashworth


Rachel Ashworth is originally from the Midwest, her expertise is writing research-based articles about health and wellness. Specific interests include mental health and addiction. Rachel has written on a wide range of topics including parenting, fitness, health, fire safety, home maintenance, medical insurance, and dental care. She spends her time writing, volunteering with her church and community, and teaching her children.


Rachel Ashworth is originally from the Midwest, her expertise is writing research-based articles about health and wellness. Specific interests include mental health and addiction. Rachel has written on a wide range of topics including parenting, fitness, health, fire safety, home maintenance, medical insurance, and dental care. She spends her time writing, volunteering with her church and community, and teaching her children.