COVID-19 2021 Special Enrollment Period

President Biden has issued an Executive Order creating a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) in response to the COVID-19 national emergency.  According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, all states that operate a federally-facilitated exchange will have a SEP for all uninsured or underinsured people.  The SEP will begin on Feb. 15th, 2021, and continue through May 15th, 2021.

A Special Enrollment Period allows for an election of new coverage or changing existing coverage. Also known as a qualifying life event. 

Indiana is one of the 36 states that use to distribute Individual marketplace health insurance.

Starting Feb. 15th, any Hoosier that does not have health insurance can apply for coverage without providing any documentation to prove they have a qualifying life event.  Most of the population is well aware of the strict open enrollment periods associated with the individual health insurance through the exchange. A segment of the population is not familiar with open enrollment periods, and this SEP could benefit them in obtaining health coverage. 2020 we have seen many people lose employer-sponsored coverage with little to no experience in the individual health insurance markets. The COVID-19 SEP may benefit these people with a second chance to evaluate their current health insurance options.

During the COVID SEP, the marketplace will not require any documentation to certify a qualifying life event has occurred.  

CMS is going to spend $50 million on promoting this Special Enrollment Period which should create awareness to those that may benefit. 

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