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The "open enrollment period" starts on Nov. 1 each year. Any other time it is called the “special enrollment period”. To buy health insurance during special enrollment, you must have had a qualifying "life event" within the past 60 days. Examples include losing your job, moving to a new area, getting married or having a child.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) offers tools to help. You can use Provider Finder and Premium Tax Estimator to help you understand your choices. That can make the health insurance shopping process simpler. Visit www.bcbsil.com to view and compare all BCBSIL family and individual health insurance plans available to you. That takes in the plans offered on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Provider Finder® lets you search our large network of doctors, dentists, hospitals and other health providers. You can look for a new doctor in your area that accepts the plan you’re thinking of buying. If you already have a doctor that you want to stick with, you can use it to see if your current doctor accepts the plan you’re thinking of buying.
Premium Tax Estimator gives you an estimate of how much financial assistance you may qualify for based on income and household size. This premium tax credit amount is only an estimate. Your official premium tax credit will come from the Health Insurance Marketplace if you are eligible for one.
If you’re on any prescription drugs, be sure to check the standard drug list and generic drug list to make sure the plan covers your meds.
After you’ve selected a plan that fits your budget, medical and prescription drug needs, you can track your application status with Enrollment Tracker.
Visit our website to shop plans, or if online shopping isn’t your thing, give us a call instead at 877-731-4649.
Originally published 4/1/2015; Revised 2018, 2021
You're welcome, Former Member! Glad the information helped your friend better understand the process. -- Krysta
Thanks for the info, I was recently able to help guide a friend who needed insurance.
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