Individual Open Enrollment, commonly referred to as simply the Open Enrollment, in California (it is different in other states) is scheduled to go from 10/15/18 to 1/15/19. During this time, a CA resident can enroll or switch to any available individual plan for 2019 with no health questions (meaning that the coverage is guaranteed issue), no questions about other circumstances (like, if you had just lost coverage, etc.), and no wait for pre-existing conditions once the new coverage begins (i.e., if I need open heart surgery Day One of my coverage for my chronic heart condition, it is covered). Once we get to 1/16/19 and beyond in 2019, an applicant will need to have a qualifying life event (QLE) in order to have a Special Enrollment Period to apply for coverage. To apply as a special enrollment, an applicant must have had a QLE within 60 days of the application for coverage. QLE’s include involuntarily losing group coverage or Medi-Cal (California’s version of the federal Medicaid program), exhausting COBRA coverage, moving to CA permanently from another country, moving out of your current insurance carrier’s service area so you are forced off of a plan, getting married, having a baby, etc. This is why Open Enrollment is so important for most people because once it is over, you will probably be forced to keep whatever coverage you have for the balance of 2019.