ACA Enrollment Guide

November 09, 2017

20-Somethings, Bedsider, Men, Parents

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a ObamaCare) is still law, and the time to enroll is now. Open Enrollment runs from November 1 and lasts through December 15. That’s only six weeks unless you have a qualifying life event or you live in a state with its own marketplace.  

We know that seems like a short time, but don’t worry. Here’s our week-by-week calendar of resources and reminders to help you get your plan in time. Bookmark this page and come back often to stay on track. 


November 1 – November 7: GET READY  


Signing up for health insurance involves a gathering paperwork, so use this week to track down the documents you’ll need. Don’t know what they are? There’s a handy checklist available of all the things you’ll need. Cross items off the list as you track them down.   


November 8 – November 14: START BROWSING  


Once you have your documents, start looking at insurance plans in your area. If you’re in a state that doesn’t have its own marketplace, is where you’ll go check out plans. If you aren’t sure whether your state has its own marketplace, we have a list of the twelve states.  If you’re lucky, your state might have a longer enrollment period.   




The choices can be overwhelming, so you’re going to want to narrow down your options as much as possible. Confused about the lingo? You can learn more about the insurance terms you’re seeing. Want to talk to someone about your options? Find someone using this awesome tool or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY:1-855-889-4325).   


November 22 – 28: ENROLL  


OK. You technically have two more weeks to enroll (longer if you are in a state with its own exchange and a later end date), but you should do it now. The insurance marketplace website gets busy right before Open Enrollment ends, and the traffic can cause major technical glitches.  


To make things worse, every Sunday during Open Enrollment, the website will be down for maintenance from midnight (12 am) to noon (12 pm). The only exception is December 10, 2017—the last Sunday before open enrollment ends.  


Trust us—sooner you enroll, the better.  


November 29 – December 15: SIT BACK AND ENJOY YOUR FREE TIME  


You’re done! Sit back and enjoy the holiday season knowing that you’ve given yourself the best gift ever—health insurance coverage in the new year.  

Authored by: Liany Elba Arroyo

Liany Elba Arroyo is the Senior Director of Health Equity at The National Campaign where she works to ensure an equity lens is applied to the organization’s work.  Previously she had served as the Director of Partnerships where she oversaw the development of programs and the dissemination of messages and resources tailored for the Latino and African American communities. 

Prior to coming to The National Campaign, Liany spent over 13 years working in the government and non-profit sectors developing programs and promoting public policies that aimed to improve the health status of Latino communities across the nation. Most recently, Liany was the Associate Director of the Education and Children’s Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), where she worked on advancing NCLR’s education priorities and policies affecting Latino children and youth. Liany has published several pieces on children and Latino health and has been cited by Spanish and English media, including The New York Times, Newsweek, and Univision.

Originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Liany currently resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband and daughter. She holds a BS in psychology from Wellesley College, an MPH from Columbia University, and is Certified in Public Health.



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