Special Enrollment: Finding Health Coverage During COVID-19

Krystal Clark

| 2 min read

Young man talking on the phone in his home office
Have you lost your job and health coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, you are eligible for special enrollment though the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You may now receive low or no-cost health insurance through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). What is Special Enrollment? Special enrollment is a period where individuals can sign up for a new health plan following a life-changing event. That can include job loss, marriage, divorce or a new baby. Applicants may be asked to provide documents, such as a notice from your previous employer to confirm a change in income. What ACA plans are available? ACA plans are based on household income, family size, and subsidies. Subsidized coverage is used to offset premium costs and alleviate financial strain for those who need it most. Common income-based plans are Medicaid, which provides health coverage to low-income adults, children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. And CHIP, a low-cost plan for children under the age of 19, whose parents don’t qualify for Medicaid. When do you apply for Special Enrollment? Special enrollment must occur within 60 days of losing employment. Individuals should contact Blue Cross to receive guidance on how to transition from employer-provided coverage to their own. It’s important to discuss these options with a trained health care adviser or insurance agent. How do you apply for Special Enrollment? Due to current social distancing guidelines, advisers and agents are enrolling members online. Contact Blue Cross by calling 855-237-3500 or visiting www.bcbsm.com/myblue. Wait times may be slightly longer than normal, but a call-back option is available during high-volume hours. You can also reach the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) at 877-999-6442 or email at DIFS-HICAP@michigan.gov. Read more:
Photo credit: Anchiy

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