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Open Enrollment

Your time to make changes to your coverage

What is open enrollment?

open enrollmentFor most health plans, open enrollment is the time of year when you can make changes to your health coverage before the start of the next plan year. Changes might include picking a new health plan option, adding or removing a dependent or disenrolling from a plan. Open enrollment is a chance for you to make your plan changes before the new plan year starts.

When is open enrollment?

It depends. The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans runs from October 15-December 7 every year. Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA)-qualified Individual plans is October 15-December 15 every year.

If you have health insurance through your employer, open enrollment might take place in the fall or a different time of the year, depending on when your plan year begins. (For example, an employer’s plan year may run from July 1-June 30, so open enrollment may take place during the month of May.) Check with your employer to find out when open enrollment takes place.

Qualifying life events

There are a few life events that may let you add dependents even when it’s not open enrollment time. See the table below to learn more about what is considered a qualifying life event and the timeframes.


Time to submit an application

Birth of a child or adoption

60 days from the birth


60 days from the marriage

Involuntary loss of previous group coverage (loss of a job)

30 days from loss of coverage

Death of a spouse or dependent child

60 days from death

Divorce, annulment or legal separation

60 days from finalization

If you need to add or remove dependents due to a qualifying life event, we are here to help. Call the Blue Cross of Idaho Customer Service Department at the number on the back of your member ID card.

Posted: October 20, 2021, updated October 17, 2022