New, limited time, Covid-19 open enrollment period starts next week
Individuals throughout Western North Carolina have a new opportunity to enroll in health insurance for 2021 on HealthCare.gov, but only for a limited time. This new Covid-19 open enrollment period starts on February 15 and ends on May 15.
With job losses continuing to mount amid the Covid-19 resurgence, and millions of people having lost their job-based health insurance since the start of this public health and economic crisis, Healthcare.gov has opened up to give people who need health insurance a new opportunity to get covered, but they must act quickly.
Tammy Greenwell, Chief Operations Officer at Blue Ridge Health commented “This new enrollment period offers others the opportunity to sign up. Anyone who needs coverage should visit HealthCare.gov or call to get assist them with the process in person or over the phone.”
Individuals enrolling in a plan on HealthCare.gov are guaranteed to receive comprehensive coverage with no preexisting condition exclusion or markups. All of the plans available through the Affordable Care Act cover essential benefits, including doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, behavioral health treatment and maternity care. Consumers who sign up for coverage also receive free preventive care services such as immunizations and health screenings. Testing and treatment of Covid-19 are considered essential benefits and are covered by all HealthCare.gov plans.
Many individuals who enroll in coverage find that health insurance is more affordable than they think. In North Carolina, 57 percent of consumers who signed up for coverage last year received financial help that reduced their monthly insurance premiums.
“Though many are leery of signing up for insurance coverage due to cost, they often find good deals through the marketplace and receive financial assistance to help lower their monthly health insurance costs,” said Greenwell.
Consumers should avoid insurance plans offered outside of HealthCare.gov that seem too good to be true. So called “Junk Insurance” products pose a huge financial risk to consumers. These products can refuse to pay for care for pre-existing conditions, charge consumers more based on their gender and impose annual coverage limits.
Trying to navigate the health insurance landscape can be confusing, but individuals throughout the area can get free help to assist them in choosing coverage that fits their needs. If you or someone you know needs help with the enrollment process, contact Blue Ridge Health at 828-692-4289 and schedule an appointment with a Certified Application Counselor before the May 15 deadline.
Visit brchs.com for more information.
Submitted by Aaron Ratliff