Since the Affordable Care Act created a specific window in which Americans can sign up for health insurance for the year, Open Enrollment has become one of the most important time periods in the U.S. insurance agency. If you’re thinking of becoming a health insurance agent, one of the best times to get your foot in the door by being hired at an agency or opening up your own office is during this period, when millions and millions of Americans are rushing to renew their plans or sign up for health coverage for the first time.
What Is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is the name for the period every year where, under the Affordable Care Act, Americans are allowed to enroll in a health insurance plan for the next calendar year. Before the passage of the ACA under the Obama administration, most Americans could choose to enroll themselves in a health insurance plan throughout the year, and often did so, through their work or independently. One of the many changes that came with the new healthcare legislation, however, was the imposition of a limited time frame during which most Americans could purchase health insurance coverage for the following year, with limited exceptions for “qualifying life events” that changed a person’s insurance eligibility status.
The exact dates for Open Enrollment can change each year, but, in general, the period for signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act begins in the last few months of the year. The 2016 Open Enrollment period begins November 1st, 2015 and ends January 31st, 2016.
Open Enrollment and Insurance Jobs
As is probably obvious, Open Enrollment is the busiest part of any health insurance agency’s work year. When an industry is largely restricted from signing up new clients outside of a certain time period, the small window of time every year in which they are allowed to sell new health insurance policies is sure to be a flurry of activity. It’s also the best time to be hired as a new insurance agent, or to enter the industry as an independent agent.
While the hiring needs of each agency and company will vary, the fact is that the most obvious time health-insurance-related businesses will be looking for new agents to help handle the large flow of customers seeking coverage is during Open Enrollment. If you’re interested in becoming a health insurance agent, Open Enrollment is the time to be aggressively pursuing a position, or to be completing the process for becoming a licensed insurance agent in your state. While there may be open health insurance agent positions outside of Open Enrollment, the need for insurance agents is likely to be greatly reduced outside of that limited time period.
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