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Need Health Insurance? Act Now!

April 14, 2020

Need Health Insurance? Act Now!

We are living in uncertain times during the COVID-19 crisis, and for many, it’s resulted in a loss of employment or health coverage.

It’s important to know that losing your job or health insurance could mean you’re eligible for other types of health coverage. However, you have to act fast!

If you’ve lost your job or health insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may qualify for a special enrollment period through the ACA Marketplace or for Medical Assistance if you meet the income limit.

What qualifies you for a special enrollment period under the ACA?

A special enrollment period (SEP) is a time when an individual and/or their household is able to enroll in a qualified health plan in the ACA Marketplace outside of the regular open enrollment period. This means that a qualifying event (caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise) could mean you’re eligible for other coverage through the Marketplace.

You Might Qualify If:

  1. You lost qualifying health coverage (for example, you no longer have insurance through your employer because you lost your job or your hours were reduced.)
  2. There’s been a change in your household size because of marriage, divorce, or the birth of a baby.*
  3. You moved to a new city or state or moved back from being abroad.*
  4. There’s been a change in your income.*

*These cases follow the rule that a minimum of one member in the household had health coverage in the last 60 days in order to qualify for a SEP.

What if I’m already enrolled in marketplace insurance?

It is important to also note that if you have had any life changes such as loss of income, you should be sure to update those changes with the Marketplace by phone or online. If your income has decreased, for example, you could be eligible for financial assistance.

Why is it important to act now?

It’s very important that you act now and review your health coverage options because special enrollment periods don’t last very long. You have 60 days from when the qualifying event occurred to apply for a plan in the Marketplace, and in some cases, you can apply 60 days before the qualifying event occurs.

What about children’s health insurance?

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a joint federal-state health coverage program available for all children. The state program functions on a sliding scale, and this means that families who earn up to 300% of the federal poverty line are able to access the coverage at a reduced cost. Families who are already enrolled in either Medicaid or CHIP cannot have their coverage involuntarily terminated during a declared public health emergency. In addition, families who have experienced a drop in income and are already paying a monthly payment for CHIP should call to report this change because you may be eligible for a decreased rate.

PHAN can help you figure out your options. It will be helpful to have this information on hand when you call us:

  • Household size
  • Your household income (before taxes) including expected unemployment benefits
  • Current/Expected Health Coverage Status
  • Any Major Life Changes

Contact our helpline for more info at 877-570-3642!