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What day of the month does health insurance begin?

This has been a common question since the launch of Obamacare exchanges. The answer is simple and straightforward:

Qualified major medical insurance plans and supplemental insurance policies start on the first day of the month. The start day is usually confirmed by mail.

Short term major medical insurance and mini-med insurance starts sooner, usually at midnight immediately after you apply online. It is possible to specify a later start date on the application.

Non-insurance health benefits like the telemedicine plan offered by Members Insurance Exchange can begin after the application is processed but this can be as long as 48 hours after online application.

The most common mistake applicants make is expecting their application to be processed quickly. In fact it does take more than a month in many cases. We suggest this approach: If applying today (just for example, on the 10th day of August) then assume that coverage will start October 1 but be aware that many applications take longer. To cover yourself in the meanwhile, apply for a short term medical insurance effective immediately (August 11) with a month-to-month renewal option in the event you other application is delayed.

If you have any questions about your start date just locate a copy of your application confirmation email or letter and call the enroller's office listed in the confirmation.


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Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author Tony Novak and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Freedom Benefits is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the commercial companies listed on this site.