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Why Can’t We Sign Up For Health Insurance Any Time of the Year?

In the past, you could buy health insurance in Wisconsin any time you wanted. However, because of the Affordable Care Act, that is no longer the case.*

Today, health insurance can only be purchased during the Open Enrollment period unless you qualify for a special enrollment period. This year, Open Enrollment is November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017.

Why do we have Open Enrollment for health insurance?

The Open Enrollment period is a way to make sure that everyone who has health insurance coverage also pays for that coverage. People can no longer sign up for insurance only when they begin to have issues with their health – everyone has to sign up at the same time.

Financial risk for those who buy insurance is also reduced by making sure everyone invests in coverage. In order to have stable health care coverage, there must be a balance of high and low users of health care services. If everyone pays in at the same time, regardless of their health status, the risk for all contributors is reduced. This not only stabilizes the system, it may even result in maintaining or reducing premium costs.

Conversely, if people could wait until they were sick to buy insurance, then the risk of the pool would increase and premiums would soon be very costly.


At the very least, you may be liable to pay a penalty. In addition, if you need health care you may be responsible for paying the full cost of that care.

If you want to explore the many health insurance options available to you during open enrollment, browse our plans and get a quote today!

*Exceptions exist in special circumstances or for certain groups.

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