Open Enrollment: What Should HealthShare Members Know?

scrabble tiles spelling out "Open Enrollment" which is not a concern for HealthShare members, who can sign up or make changes to their membership anytime

Open enrollment season is a critical time, and HealthShare members are not exempt from the pressure and confusion that it can bring. Here are a few things both current HealthShare members and those shopping for a HealthShare should know about open enrollment.

What is open enrollment?

This is the time of year when the insurance marketplace and exchanges open, and individuals may select a health plan or make changes to their existing coverage. This period generally starts on November 1st and lasts until January 15th. For coverage that starts January 1st, individuals must be enrolled by December 15th, though dates vary by state. serves as a useful starting point for exploring marketplace health insurance plans.

HealthShares are not insurance

While many members have been happy with health insurance alternatives, it is important to note that health insurance coverage is different from a HealthShare membership. HealthShare members might still want or need to shop for a health insurance plan, depending on individual or family circumstance. HealthShares are not designed to replace all aspects of an insurance plan, which is why they do not qualify as healthcare coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Members should do their homework and carefully consider their options, needs, and budget before making any commitments.

The ACA individual mandate

The ACA individual mandate requires that everyone in the United States have qualifying healthcare coverage. Though individuals were previously penalized for not having coverage, this is no longer federally enforced. However, there are a handful of places that still enforce a healthcare coverage requirement (California, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont). Residents of these states may want to consider the financial implications of opting not to enroll.

Some HealthShare members choose to rely solely on their membership for their healthcare costs, while others choose to use it to supplement their health insurance plan. By combining the two, members may develop a strategy that targets both their major medical costs and their everyday needs.

Enrollment timing

Open enrollment can be overwhelming for those shopping for both a HealthShare membership and insurance coverage. Fortunately, there is no set timeframe for enrolling in a HealthShare. Prospective members can focus on finding a suitable marketplace health plan during open enrollment, and then find the right HealthShare membership to round out their healthcare cost management plan.

Further reading

While decisions about healthcare can be time-consuming, it can be well worth the effort to develop a suitable healthcare cost strategy. Open enrollment season can add pressure and confusion, but members need not panic. For more information on open enrollment, please visit

For more information about the difference between HealthShares and health insurance, click here.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Scroll to Top

Which HealthShare Would You Like to Review?