Why is the entire country forced to apply for healthcare all at once every year?

Why can't I get health insurance any day of the year just like any other insurance company such as car insurance, life insurance, home owners insurance etc... What are the enrollment periods supposed to accomplish? Why should it matter if I lost my job, got a new job, or whatever my history may be, I am a human being with blood pumping through my veins and even willing to pay for it, how am I not eligible for health coverage until November? Regardless of whether you love or hate the healthcare system, I just don't understand why it's not open all year round like almost every other business in this country. Something like that should be available to everyone at all times like the ability to call 911. If a depressed person threatens to commit suicide unless he gets health coverage and the health insurance companies just lets him kill himself, how can they claim to help anyone? What reason do they have to exist if they can't help someone like that?

12 Answers

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  • L
    Lv 4
    4 weeks ago

    The only time, you can be added to healthcare.............is when you are first hired. They will give you a time limit on this.  Once you have the healthcare, from your employer, you can NOT make any changes to it until November.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    The enrollment periods exist to sell insurance. If there were no enrollment periods, people would not bother to buy it, so this way by giving you a time period in which to buy, you are less inclined to put it off. But I would check the non-ACA plans to see if they have enrollment periods. For those contact an independent insurance agent or contact one of the big insurers directly.

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  • 1 month ago

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  • 1 month ago

    I have no idea where you are living, but you can get health care coverage at any time of the year if you do a little research. Renewals or changes of policies are usually limited to a month or two each year, but not always. And if you have no money, there is Medicaid. Don't confuse "open enrollment" with simple "enrollment." And the entire country isn't "forced" to do anything. 

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  • 1 month ago

    I figured that the unions had something to do with this. Fall open enrollment makes a huge seasonal workload that insurance companies have to staff up for, but the training requirements for the job are such that they have to employ these workers year round. So most health insurance workers work like crazy in the fall, but chill out and relax the rest of the year. It's a bird nest on the ground! 

    • Anonymous
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Yeah...that has nothing to do with it.  But, thanks for playing.

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  • Judith
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    That is not true.  The vast majority of people do NOT have to apply for healthcare yearly.  Only those who are entitled to an insurance which is dependent upon income or those who wish to change insurance companies; for example those who only have insurance because of Obamacare.  Insurance choices for them are limited through the state and those insurance companies don't always make insurance available year after year.

    All insurance companies have open periods in which people can change insurances IF THEY WISH TO DO SO.  If they wish to stay with their current insurance they don't have to do anything.  I've been entitled to Medicare since 2002 and have made no changes.  I've been entitled to BCBS via my employer since the 1970s and have made no changes.  I have never had to sign anything since becoming initially entitled.  My coverage continues without my contacting them because I haven't made any changes.

    • Anonymous
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Yeah...it's kinda clear you don't know how this works.  

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  • 1 month ago

    We do it this way because otherwise you would not be able to get it at any time.  The enrollment periods make you get insurance when you are healthy, rather than waiting until you get sick.  You can't wait until an accident to get car insurance, wait until you die to get life insurance, or wait until your house burns down to homeowner's insurance.  The reason that health insurance is different is that you can use it for a sickness that already began before you bought it; with all the other insurance types you listed, you can never use it for something that already began before you bought the insurance.

    When insurance was still available for purchase all year, a depressed person could not buy insurance, even if he waited a year, because insurance companies wouldn't sell to him, or he could buy insurance, but it wouldn't cover his depression, and even though he paid for the insurance, they would still let him kill himself, because he already had depression when he bought the insurance, so it wasn't covered.

    By making you wait until November, you are covered starting in November -- before it took 13-18 months; now, it's never more than about 12 -- and you don't have to pay before the coverage starts -- you used to have to pay for insurance for 13-18 months before it would cover your existing medical problems.

    All of the problems you are complaining about were much worse before the mandatory wait for an enrollment period.  Requiring a wait for an enrollment period has decreased, lowered, not increased, the wait time before you can get care for your existing condition.

    • Anonymous
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Sorta...but you can still get it in December when you're not healthy, have a surgery in January and cancel in February.  It just limits people from doing that every month.

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  • DON W
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If you have a job that offers health insurance through your employer, generally you automatically renew each year without taking any action.  Only if you want to drop it or switch between companies (for employers offering a choice of insurance companies) do you need to take action.

    • Anonymous
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      This is true many times, but not if the company is NOT doing a passive enrollment.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Because if you crash your car or burn your house down, the government doesn't have to fix your car or rebuild your house if you are uninsured.

    If you break your leg or need your appendix out, the ER has to fix you up even if you don't have insurance.

    Too many uninsured people makes health care costs go up.   The open enrollment period is designed to ensure that people have medical insurance year round rather than purchasing it when symptoms arise.  

    You do not understand the law if you think you can't buy insurance until open enrollment if you lose your job.   "Qualified life events" that cause loss of insurance create a 60 day special enrollment period regardless of the time of year.

    In addition, anyone who becomes eligible for insurance under their employer's plan can enroll at that time regardless of the time of year.

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  • 1 month ago

    We have told you time and again, why you can only purchase health insurance once per year.

    Because it's the law.Lot of laws don't make sense.

    If you don't like it, work with your politicians to get it changed. 

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