Press Release, December 12, 2016, Commissioner Nickel Reminds Wisconsin Consumers 2017 Open Enrollment Deadlines Approaching

Last Updated: December 12, 2016

Date: December 12, 2016
For more information contact: Elizabeth Hizmi, Public Information Officer, (608) 267-9460 or

​Commissioner Nickel Reminds Wisconsin Consumers
2017 Open Enrollment Deadlines Approaching

Madison, WI—Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel reminds Wisconsin consumers the 2017 health insurance open enrollment period ends January 31, 2017. However, for coverage to be effective on January 1, 2017, consumers must purchase plans by December 15, 2016.

Consumers seeking individual coverage should sign up before January 31, 2017, or risk being locked out of the individual insurance market until 2018. Of course, consumers facing a loss of their group coverage or in other special situations may be eligible for special enrollment periods.

"The fluidity of the health insurance market this year makes shopping for coverage an even more important responsibility," said Commissioner Nickel. "For those who will be subject to the harms of 'auto re-enrollment,' we strongly encourage you to opt-out by December 15 and shop for health care coverage either on or off the exchange."

Interactive Health Insurer Map and Other Resources
OCI provides access to an interactive map that shows all the carriers available in each Wisconsin county and a link to the company Web site to explore plan options. The Health Insurer Map is a record of health insurance companies' marketing practices as reported to the Commissioner of Insurance in rate filings. Inclusion on this list is NOT an implicit or explicit endorsement by OCI. For access to the Health Insurer Map please visit

Individuals looking for information on comprehensive health insurance and many of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes including the individual mandate, the federal exchange, federal subsidies, and plan design may reference a new OCI consumer publication titled Guide to Health Care Insurance.

This year, OCI conducted seven informational sessions across the state in the form of town hall meetings in an effort to provide a forum for citizens to gather information about the ACA, 2017 open enrollment, and "auto re-enrollment." Individuals may reference a copy of the 2017 Health Care Insurance Town Hall Presentation on OCI's Web site (

For more information on "auto re-enrollment" and how to opt-out, see a previous OCI press release at

It is important to note that plans may have changed their premiums, networks, deductibles and coinsurance. If you receive a subsidy through the federal exchange, it is also important to understand how the subsidy will impact the cost of your plan. In order to better understand your plan options you may:

Tips on Shopping for Coverage
When shopping for coverage, remember the cheapest policy may not be the best option. Generally, plans offering more freedom in choosing providers or covering additional benefits will cost you more, either in premiums or out-of-pocket expenses.

Questions to consider when deciding to change or keep one's current plan include:

  • Will the plan allow you to see the providers you want?
  • Will your current doctors accept your coverage?
  • Will the plan cover the prescription drugs you are currently taking?
  • What are the benefits that are excluded?
  • What is the total cost to you, including premiums, coinsurance, copayments, deductibles, or other out-of-pocket expenses?
  • If you have a specific health condition, is one type of plan better suited to provide the services you need?

Created by the Legislature in 1870, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.