Health Insurance Basics

Top Glossary Terms


Open Enrollment Period (OEP)

If you buy your own insurance, this is the time each year when you can renew your current plan or choose a new plan. Medicare plans have their own enrollment period.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

A time outside of the open enrollment period when you can sign up for a health insurance plan. You qualify for a special enrollment period following a qualified life event.


Financial assistance offered by the federal government to help with the costs of individual and family health insurance plans. Some people may receive a lower premium, lower cost-sharing, or both.


A group of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare professionals who have been contracted to provide medical services to members.