SECURE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR YOURSELF OR YOUR LOVE ONES: A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD FOR HEALTH CARE COVERAGE DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

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According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, individuals can enroll in Marketplace health coverage February 15 through May 15 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. A person may also still be able to enroll for 2021 any time these two ways: with a Special Enrollment Period or through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For more information about Special Enrollment Periods for Health Insurance Coverage via the Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, please visit https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage-outside-open-enrollment/special-enrollment-period/.

According to an Issue Brief (August 19, 2020) from the Commonwealth Fund, during the first half of 2020, 43.4 percent of U.S. adults ages 19 to 64 were inadequately insured. The adult uninsured rate was 12.5 percent. In addition, 9.5 percent of adults were insured but had a gap in coverage in the past year and 21.3 percent were underinsured. According to 2012 data from the Alabama Department of Public Health, an estimated 15.8% of Alabamians are without health insurance coverage. 15.8% of uninsured Alabamians are ages 65 or older, while 15.5% of Alabamians without health coverage were between ages 40 – 64 years of age. Among the uninsured, 19% were African American and 34.6% were persons from Latino/Hispanic ethnicity.

Health Insurance Coverage is a significant resource to have in your life and the lives of your loved ones! Through the Marketplace created through the Affordable Care Act, health plans cover:

  • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization (like surgery and overnight stays)
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren’t essential health benefits)

Plans may also cover:

Additionally, plans in various states may include: Dental coverage, Vision coverage, and/or Medical management programs (for specific needs like weight management, back pain, and diabetes). Start your process of gaining health coverage today by visiting Healthcare.gov to learn more about healthcare coverage and encourage your loved ones to the same.

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