Special enrollment in the federal health insurance marketplace is underway

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Posted at 7:28 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 18:35:20-04

CLEVELAND — Right now, you could be missing out on money. It has to do with health insurance plans in the federal marketplace.

"The special enrollment is virtually an open enrollment," said Ron Irvine, a federal certified navigator in Ohio with HRS Erase Navigators.

Navigators help people enroll in coverage through the marketplace, and are funded through federal grants and must undergo training, licensing and background checks.

Typically, open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace, established under the Affordable Care Act, is just a few weeks at the end of the year—Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

However, President Biden has opened a special enrollment period through Aug. 15 to help people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

You are guaranteed coverage, so long as you meet income requirements, said Irvine. And the new COVID-19 stimulus plan signed into law last month has added provisions that can save you money.

Provisions Irvine says hardly anyone knows about.

"It is good talking to folks like you and getting it out on the news," he said.

Here are three things he says will help you during special enrollment.

  • First, special documents not required.

"For example, say somebody lost their insurance through losing their job; they're not requiring that proof of loss of insurance like they used to," said Irvine.

  • Second, premiums are estimated to decrease $50 a person per month.

"If you're in the marketplace, redo your application you could save yourself a lot of money," he said. Even if you're not making changes, he recommends redoing your application.

  • Third, you don't have to repay excess premium subsidies for 2020 to the IRS

"So, this is all super-duper huge stuff!" he said.

About 200,000 Ohioans enrolled in a marketplace plan in 2020. Irvine says nationally, more than 500,000 Americans have signed up for health insurance during the special enrollment period that opened in February.

How to enroll?

  • 1-800-318-2596

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