While Open Enrollment doesn’t officially end until January 31, 2016, December 15 is the most important deadline you should know now.
If you enroll in Obamacare on or before December 15, your coverage can start as early as possible on January 1, 2016. But if you enroll any time after December 15, your coverage will be delayed well into the New Year.
Now that you know to find a health plan before December 15, here’s a second piece of important information: You must pay your first premium in order to activate your coverage. That means you cannot use your health plan until you make your first payment.
The same goes for the months to follow: If you fail to make any of your monthly premium payments, you could lose your coverage. And even if you’re allowed to pay for your first month with a credit card, you’ll need to contact your health insurance provider with your bank information for all subsequent payments.