Open enrollment runs between October 1 and March 31. You don’t have to sign up that first day. In fact, you may want to put off paying for it until December. Plans bought through the exchanges won’t start until January 1.
December 14 is the cut-off date if you want your plan to start January 1. Open enrollment runs through March 31. If you sign up in January or February your coverage will start the following month.
When Massachusetts rolled out a similar health insurance mandate in 2007, the biggest spike in enrollments came in the two months before people would be charged a penalty for not having coverage, according to Jon Kingsdale who ran the state’s health benefit exchange then. He also noticed many people came back to the state’s website to evaluate the potential plans more than once.
The experts advise you to take your time. Comparison shop to find the policy that works best for you.