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5 Ways to Save During 2024 Open Enrollment

Health insurance. You know you need it, but why does it have to be so darn expensive—and complicated?

In 2022, American families on average paid $6,106 in health insurance premiums for their employer-sponsored plan.1 Ouch. And depending on how much employers pitched in, the cost for some workers was even worse! One in five small-business employees paid more than $12,000 for family coverage.2 That’s more than twice the average annual spending on household groceries!3

Maybe there’s a better way. When it comes to health insurance, you could be leaving money on the table. We’re going to share five ways to save money on health insurance in 2024.

But first, let’s take a quick look at open enrollment and the marketplace for 2024 coverage.


What You Need to Know About the Marketplace and Open Enrollment

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) formed the health insurance marketplace to give people a way to compare and sign up for health insurance. Today, anyone can go on the government insurance marketplace site and choose an individual or family health insurance policy. Depending on where you live, the marketplace is either federally based or run by your state. The best option, though, is to reach out to an independent agent who can get you exactly what you need at the best price.


When Is Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment is that specific window of time when you can sign up for coverage for the next year. And while it happens every year, at least a few of the details change each year—so “set it and forget it” is not an option. You need to pay attention every year.

For employer-sponsored plans, open enrollment is typically in the fall. On the marketplace, it’s usually from November 1 until December 15, but in 2021, open enrollment was extended an extra month—and that flexibility is getting a repeat in 2024. So in most states this year, marketplace open enrollment lasts from November 1, 2023, until January 15, 2024.4 Check out the exceptions in the chart below.

If you miss open enrollment, you can still get coverage after January 15 if you qualify with certain life events, like having a baby or losing your job.

Open Enrollment by State


Open Enrollment for ACA Marketplace

Every state but the oddballs below

Nov. 1 to Jan. 15


Nov. 1 to Jan. 31

District of Columbia

Nov. 1 to Jan. 31


Oct. 15 to Dec. 15


Nov. 1 to Dec. 15


Nov. 1 to Jan. 23

New Jersey

Nov. 1 to Jan. 31

New York

Nov. 16 to Jan. 31

Rhode Island

Nov. 1 to Jan. 315

Now that you have the dates, let’s find ways to save you some money!


5 Ways to Save Money During Open Enrollment

1. Don’t automatically go with your employer’s option.

Your employer’s plan might not be all it’s cracked up to be. It’s easy to assume your employer health insurance package is a great deal. Employers often get discounted rates by buying health insurance plans in bulk (just like Costco, but with health insurance!). This isn’t always the case though.

Your employer’s plan might be horrible (as in, horribly expensive), or it might be your best option—and the only way to know for sure is to shop around.

The biggest plus of your employer’s plan is that your employer will share the costs of your premiums with you. That’s a deal that’s hard (but not impossible) to beat.

Another benefit of enrolling in a workplace plan is the convenience of having the premiums deducted from your paycheck pretax, lowering your taxable income for the year (yes, please!). But even with the cost sharing and the tax benefit, it’s worth checking out the marketplace to see if you can save.

2. Compare different plans and shop around.

About 175 companies offer health plans on the marketplace.6 This gives you a ton of options to find a plan that saves you money. Many states have three or more options available, so it just makes sense to compare prices to make sure you’re getting the best bang for that buck.

But all those options can be a lot to sift through. So we recommend working with an insurance agent when you’re shopping insurance. They can find coverage that works for you and your situation—saving you time and money.

3. See if you qualify for a tax credit.

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, it’s easier than ever to get help paying for health insurance. And in 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act extending those benefits through 2025.7 Even if you weren’t eligible for help in prior years, check again to see if you could save in 2024. If you qualify, you’ll get a tax credit to offset some of the high costs of health insurance.8

4. Start a Health Savings Account (HSA).

If health insurance had a superpower, it would be the Health Savings Account. If you have a high-deductible health insurance plan (or HDHP), you can use an HSA to set aside pretax money from your paycheck to pay for a variety of medical expenses. You don’t pay taxes on the money you put into your HSA, and you don’t pay taxes when you use it to pay for qualifying medical expenses. Did we say tax-free? Yep.

Another beautiful thing about HSAs is that the money rolls over from year to year. So, you can pile up some serious dough. And a lot of employers offer an HSA match—meaning if you put in $500, they’ll add $500 too. Nice! You can also invest the funds so they grow (tax-free) while you’re sleeping. What a dream!

5. Improve your health and lifestyle.

Imagine not needing health insurance because you’re so healthy. Now, that’s not actually possible (you never want to risk being without insurance!). But this much is possible: only paying your premiums and never needing to actually use the insurance. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds! You can get closer to making this a reality if you take steps to improve your habits and make healthier choices.

Eat better. Sleep (yes, just put your phone down and go to sleep). And, you guessed it, exercise. We know—shocking, right? But all joking aside, the healthier you are, the less care you may need. And the more you’ll save.

Those five tips will take you really far. But how about a few bonus ideas to get you across the finish line? Here are some next steps you can take right now to be sure you're saving on the best available health insurance for yourself and your family.


Next Steps

  • Read up on why health insurance is an essential part of a smart financial plan.
  • Dig deeper to learn more about how to get health insurance.
  • To choose the right type of health insurance for you and your family, talk to our RamseyTrusted health insurance partner Health Trust Financial. Their independent agents really know their stuff. In fact, they've been serving Ramsey fans for over 20 years. When you work with Health Trust Financial, they'll set you up with the best health insurance quotes and policies for your situation and explain all the insurance jargon to you. Plus, they'll never try to sell you something you don't need. Connect with them now!
Connect With Health Trust Financial

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