Why can’t I buy a plan when I need it? Why do I have to wait for the open enrollment period?

Individuals with no coverage | Open and Special Enrollment Periods

If everyone were allowed to wait until they were sick to buy coverage, premiums would be very expensive. An open enrollment period encourages healthy people to buy a plan to protect themselves from unanticipated events during the year. Health insurers need a mix of healthy and sick people to make premiums fair for everyone. (82 Fed. Reg. 18346, April 18, 2017).

Individuals with no coverage
Individuals with coverage
Coverage for small employers
Post enrollment issues