Open enrollment is the period during which people can purchase health insurance for the upcoming year. During Open Enrollment you can apply without a Qualifying Life Event.

What if I want to apply and it’s not Open Enrollment?

The only other way to buy an insurance plan outside of open enrollment is to qualify for special enrollment. This time frame is called the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This exception allows you to apply for health insurance if you’ve had certain qualifying life events, such as:

•Losing your job
•Moving to a new state
•Getting married or divorced
•Becoming a widow or widower
•Aging off your parent’s plan
•Having a new baby

Note that you won’t be eligible for special enrollment if you lost your previous health plan because you failed to pay your monthly premiums or if you voluntarily cancelled the coverage.

All plans include the 10 Essential Health Benefits that are required to be covered by law.

•Ambulatory patient services (outpatient)
•Emergency Services
•Hospitalization
•Maternity and newborn care
•Mental health and substance use disorder services (including behavior health)
•Prescription drugs
•Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
•Laboratory services
•Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
•Pediatric services, including some dental and vision care (included for children only)

Under the ACA, coverage for addiction treatment must be as complete as it is for any other medical procedure. Some of the things you can get with these insurance plans include:

•Addiction evaluation
•Brief intervention
•Addiction treatment medication
•Clinic visits
•Alcohol and drug testing
•Home health visits
•Family counseling
•Anti-craving medication

ACA health insurance plans also assist with inpatient services like medical detox programs.

Some states run their own Health Insurance Marketplace platforms separate from Healthcare.gov. Differences between state and federal medical plans are based on Medicare and Medicaid coverage in each state.