FAQs: What to Know About Enrolling for Health Insurance

Apicha Community Health Center Oct 27, 2017  

Apicha CHC - iStock

Open enrollment for health insurance is November 1st, but we understand some folks still have a lot of questions. From knowing where to enroll to what you need to enroll, Apicha CHC has you covered.

This blog was last updated November 11, 2020.

The 5 W's of open enrollment

Open enrollment comes once a year and you may find yourself confused and full of questions. The media coverage of health care might make things even more confusing. This FAQ sheet is our way of letting you know the basic information YOU need to make sure you are covered for 2021.

What is open enrollment?

Open enrollment is the time of year you can enroll into health insurance.  If you don’t sign up for insurance during this time you may not be able to sign up until next year, resulting in lack of coverage for the full year of 2021.  You also may be subject to a tax penalty for not being covered.


Click here to make an appointment with our Insurance Navigators


When is open enrollment?

Open enrollment starts November 1st, 2020 nationwide.  However, the enrollment deadline varies by state. In New York state the last day to enroll in health insurance is January 31st, 2021. However, don’t wait until the last minute and get started right away!

November 1, 2020

Open enrollment begins for new applicants

November 16, 2020

Open enrollment begins people renewing their coverage

December 15, 2020

Last day to enroll for January 1, 2021 coverage

January 15, 2021

Last day to enroll for February 1, 2021 coverage

January 31, 2021

Last day of open enrollment 2021

Where can I apply?

You can apply for health insurance through New York State of Health Marketplace.  There are several ways you can apply for coverage.

  1. You can apply online at nystateofhealth.ny.gov
  2. You can apply by phone by calling 855-355-5777
  3. Or you can apply in person by making an appointment with one of our state-certified Navigators at Apicha CHC. A Navigator can assist you in the application process and help you pick a plan that best fits your needs.

Who is eligible to apply for insurance through the NY State of Health?

Only people who live in New York State can apply for health insurance through the New York State of Health Marketplace.  You will need to provide information regarding yourself and your household, immigration status, income, and current health insurance.

Why is it important to have health insurance?

Health insurance protects you from the high costs of healthcare. Without health insurance, you risk expensive medical care due to unexpected medical emergencies. It is also a great way to stay healthy and continue to do all the awesome things New Yorkers get to do. Preventative care and early intervention are more likely when you have insurance. So don’t wait and get covered today!

COVID-19 & open enrollment information

The extended 2020 Special Enrollment Period coincides with the Open Enrollment Period and allows uninsured individuals to enroll in a qualified health plan for November or December 2020 and continue enrollment in the same plan for 2021 without a gap in coverage. The special enrollment period will help protect the health of New Yorkers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Enrollment in other programs through the NY State of Health (Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan) is available year-round.

How Apicha CHC can help

If you need assistance enrolling for health insurance, Apicha CHC has staff dedicated to helping you. You can schedule an appointment with one of our health insurance Navigators, who will help you enroll and pick a plan that is right for you. Additionally, below is a list of the following organizations with language translations that can help you enroll.


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