“The Best Ways to Find Health Insurance in 2024: Your Top 5 Options Outside Open Enrollment

Photo of author
Written By kevin

A financial strategist with a knack for demystifying taxes and insurance, Kevin distills complex concepts into actionable advice.

Health insurance is essential for ensuring that you and your family can receive timely and affordable medical care when needed. However, what if you missed the open enrollment period? Are there still options available to you? The answer is yes! In this article, we will discuss some of the ways to find health insurance outside open enrollment.

When Can You Enroll in Health Insurance?

Open enrollment generally occurs annually between November 1st and December 15th. During this time, individuals can sign up for a new health insurance plan or make changes to their existing coverage. However, certain life events such as marriage, divorce, having a baby or losing job-based coverage may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

How to Find Health Insurance Outside Open Enrollment

If you are not eligible for an SEP but need health coverage outside open enrollment – refer below:

Short-term Health Plans

Short-term health plans provide temporary coverage that typically lasts from 30 days to 12 months. They offer basic medical benefits but often have lower premiums than traditional policies sold through the marketplace.


Medicaid provides low-income individuals with free or low-cost healthcare coverage. If you meet its eligibility requirements like household size and income limits set by state law then definitely apply before considering other options.

COBRA Coverage

COBRA allows laid-off workers and their dependents continued access to employer-sponsored group health insurance after leaving employment within a limited period of time–often just six months or less–even if they missed an opportunity during Open Enrollment.

### Private Exchange Platforms

Private exchange platforms offer individual market plans year-round with different levels of coverages tailored according to needs at competitive rates via licensed brokers who help navigate personalized comparisons online without any cost.


Missing the open enrollment deadline does not have to mean going without health insurance until next year’s sign-up period. There are multiple options to find health insurance outside open enrollment, including short-term plans, Medicaid, COBRA coverage and private exchange platforms. Consider exploring these possibilities before going without coverage!


Here are three popular FAQs related to finding health insurance outside open enrollment, along with their answers:

Can I get health insurance coverage outside of Open Enrollment?
Yes, you can still get health insurance coverage outside of the Open Enrollment period. However, you need to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). You may be eligible for an SEP if you have experienced a qualifying life event such as losing your job-based coverage or getting married/divorced.

What are my options if I don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?
If you don’t qualify for an SEP, one option is short-term health insurance plans. These plans typically provide temporary coverage up to 12 months and often come at lower costs than traditional health plans. However, they may not cover pre-existing conditions and may have limited benefits.

How do I compare different health plan options available off-Exchange?
To compare different off-Exchange health plan options, it’s essential to consider factors such as plan premiums, deductibles and copays out-of-pocket maximums, network providers covered under the plan, prescription drug coverage and overall potential cost savings while ensuring that the plan meets all your healthcare needs. It would help if you also use online resources like HealthCare.gov finder tool in selecting and comparing various marketplace plans’ features side-by-side across plans from multiple private insurers in your area covering similar services with varying premium rates based on benefit structure offered by each insurer selected by consumers via ACA exchange or government-run exchanges catering to guaranteed-issue requirements set forth by Affordable Care Act(ACA).


**H3: What are the top 5 options for finding health insurance outside of Open Enrollment in 2024?**
Answer: 1. Short-term health insurance: These plans offer temporary coverage, typically for up to 364 days. They are ideal for individuals experiencing life transitions or gaps in employment. 2. COBRA continuation coverage: Offered to employees after losing their job, COBRA allows them to maintain their previous employer-sponsored health plan but at their own cost. 3. State high risk pools: These government-run programs provide coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions who are unable to obtain insurance through other means. 4. Healthcare sharing ministries: These are non-profit organizations where members share each other’s medical bills, creating a sense of community and cost savings. 5. Age-based plans: Available in some states, age-based plans allow individuals over a certain age to purchase insurance that’s tailored to their age group and typically priced cheaper than traditional plans.

**H3: How do short-term health insurance plans differ from major medical insurance?**
Answer: Short-term health insurance plans are distinct from major medical insurance in several ways. They offer shorter benefit periods, may not cover preexisting conditions, and provide fewer benefits. Short-term plans are typically meant to provide temporary coverage during life transitions or gaps in employment. Major medical insurance provides comprehensive coverage for a set premium and meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

**H3: What factors should individuals consider when comparing health insurance options outside of Open Enrollment?**
Answer: When selecting a health insurance option outside of Open Enrollment, individuals should consider factors such as: 1. Cost: Understanding the premiums, deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket costs associated with each plan is crucial. 2. Coverage: Ensuring that the plan covers essential healthcare needs and desired healthcare providers is important. 3. Network: Understanding which healthcare providers and facilities are in-network and their cost structures can substantially impact the total cost of healthcare. 4. Eligibility: Ensuring that one qualifies for a given insurance option based on factors like age, residency, or health status is critical. 5. Duration: Determining the length of coverage needed and whether the chosen option offers sufficient coverage for that duration is also essential