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Question What is health insurance 'open enrollment'?

Answer Open enrollment means that any individual, and dependents of such individual, and any small group, including all eligible employees or group members and dependents of employees or members, applying for individual or small group health insurance coverage, including Medicare supplement coverage, must be accepted at all times throughout the year for any hospital and/or medical coverage offered by the insurer to individuals or small groups in this state. Once accepted for coverage, an individual or small group cannot be terminated by the insurer due to claims experience. An insurance company in New York State cannot refuse to insure an individual or small group on the basis of health, occupation, age, sex, etc. However, an applicant for an individual health insurance policy may be denied coverage where the individual is eligible for comparable group coverage through an employer.

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Health Insurance Resource Center

Comprehensive health insurance information for consumers
URL: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/chealth.htm
Contact: Department of Financial Services Consumer Services Bureau
E-mail:consumers@dfs.ny.gov
Phone: (800) 342-3736

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