In the rush to get ready for the holidays, health insurance may have taken a back seat to Christmas shopping and decorating. But while you’re checking off names on your Christmas list, keep this in mind: ‘Tis also the season for open enrollment. 

Open enrollment is the annual period during which individuals can sign up for health insurance, or change the health plans they already have. This year, open enrollment for 2022 started on November 1 and closes on January 15, 2022 — a date that is quickly approaching. Miss the open enrollment window, and you may have to wait until next year’s open enrollment period to sign up for or switch health insurance. 

To help you stay on top of open enrollment, here are some answers to commonly asked questions. 


What kind of health insurance can I get through open enrollment? 

Open enrollment is used for most types of health insurance including Medicare, employer-provided health insurance, and insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 


How do I enroll during open enrollment? 

Individuals can shop for and buy health insurance plans on the federally run online marketplace found at Many states operate their own state-run health insurance marketplaces as well, so it’s always a good idea to do an online search.  


What’s the enrollment deadline to get health insurance for 2022? 

While the federal open enrollment period ends on January 15, 2022 — with coverage starting on February 1, 2022 —  individuals who want health insurance coverage for the full 2022 calendar year must enroll by December 16, 2021. 

Some populations, like Medicaid and CHIP recipients as well as Alaska Natives and Native Americans, can enroll in plans through the ACA marketplace year-round. What’s more, many states who run their own health insurance marketplaces may extend the open enrollment periods, so be sure to check with your state’s requirements.  

California, Colorado and Washington, D.C., for example, have permanently extended their open enrollment periods. Medicare recipients and those who purchase their health insurance from an employer may also have different open enrollment periods.  


I already have a health plan. Should I change during open enrollment? 

Open enrollment provides the perfect — and often only — opportunity to evaluate your current health plan, and switch to a better option for you and your family. If you’re looking to reduce your monthly healthcare costs, or are concerned about federal mandates around employer COVID-19 vaccination requirements leading to increased healthcare costs, then you may want to consider choosing a different plan. Individuals who want more provider choice or better prescription drug coverage may also be in the market for new health insurance. 


Making the switch to faith-based health sharing. 

Traditional health insurance plans aren’t your only options, either. A faith-based health sharing plan could very well be the right choice for you and your family during this open enrollment season. Here’s why. 

With a faith-based health sharing plan, health care costs are distributed across all plan members — your fellow Christians who share your values. This can result in significant monthly savings and reduced premiums — regardless of your medical condition or history.  

Many of today’s Christian health sharing plans have a large network of providers, which means you’ll likely be able to choose or stay with your preferred doctor. Faith-based health sharing plans are also pioneers in using innovative strategies like telehealth to help lower administrative and healthcare costs even more — and pass those savings on to their members. 

Perhaps just as important to many Christian families — especially now — faith-based health sharing plans allow individuals to protect their freedoms and live by their beliefs, without being financially penalized for it. 

As you compare plans and make your decision during this open enrollment season, be sure to research all your options, including those beyond traditional insurance. Learn more about Christian health sharing plans to see if they’re the right option for you.