The annual open enrollment period for individual plans will begin on November 1, 2015 and run through January 31, 2016. This is true whether you purchase a plan “on exchange” through Covered California, or “off exchange” directly from a carrier. During the open enrollment period individuals may purchase a plan for the first time or change plans if they’re not happy with their existing plan. Although open enrollment begins on November 1, 2015 the earliest date that the change will be effective is January 1, 2016. Individuals may only purchase coverage outside of the open enrollment period if they have a qualifying event such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, loss of group coverage, etc.