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Your guide to buying affordable health insurance

Open enrollment for 2019 has ended, but millions of Americans can still buy coverage. Here's what you need to know to buy a plan that's right for you.

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Buying affordable health insurance for 2019

  • Open enrollment for 2019 coverage has ended, but if you have a qualifying event, you can still buy 2019 coverage.
  • If you have a qualifying event,are still available.
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  • For millions who can’t afford ACA-compliant coverage, could provide a temporary safety net
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  • New have expanded consumers’ access to short-term plans.
  • The Texas court ruling to overturn the ACA
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The Affordable Care Act’s annual for 2019 coverage has ended in all states. It’s the much-heralded end of open enrollment for most people in the individual market – but millions seeking coverage will still find that they’re not out of coverage options.

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Extended eligibility thanks to qualifying events

NEW: Give yourself an 11-step financial check-up. PRO-TIP: Remember that you can make HSA deposits up to the April 15 tax filing deadline.

If you have a you may still have an opportunity to enroll in an ACA-compliant plan (or switch to a different plan) before open enrollment for 2020 coverage.

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As our updated Insider’s Guide to Obamacare’s Special Enrollment explains, there’s a long list of qualifying events that could trigger a special open enrollment window for you. Among them:

Alternatives to ACA-compliant coverage

Short term policy availability by state.

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Texas judge’s ruling does not change anything about 2019 coverage

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On December 14, 2018 – a little more than 24 hours before the end of open enrollment – a federal district court judge in Texas ruled that the entire ACA is unconstitutional. This was not unexpected, and his ruling had been anticipated for several weeks.

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The plaintiffs in the lawsuit (18 Republican attorneys general and two Republican governors) argued that because the ACA’s individual mandate penalty no longer exists after the end of 2018, the rest of the ACA is no longer constitutional. This is certainly a stretch, from a legal perspective, but the judge agreed with the plaintiffs.

Despite the headlines about the ACA being ruled unconstitutional, it’s important to understand that this case is far from over and could eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. Shortly after the ruling was announced, CMS Administrator Seema Verma that “the exchanges are still open for business” and that “there is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan.”

A guide to individual and family health insurance

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As much as we love the Affordable Care Act, we know as well as anyone that the individual health insurance market continues to be a source of confusion for many consumers.

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Since 1994, this website has been a guide for consumers seeking straightforward explanations about the workings of individual health insurance – also known as medical insurance. Within this site, you’ll find hundreds of articles loaded with straightforward explanations about health insurance – and the health law – all written by a team of respected Corgi James Bond Toyota 2000GT (No 336).

Our most popular resources include:


Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Matchbox Superkings K-39 Snorkel Fire Engine for healthinsurance.org. Her are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.

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