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The Voice of the Black Community

Health

Questions answered about federal health insurance enrollment
Marketplace sign-ups through May 15
 
Published Sunday, February 28, 2021 8:00 pm
by Herbert L. White

STOCK PHOTO
A new open enrollment period to buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act is available through May 15.

There's a new opportunity to get federally-backed health care insurance.


A special open enrollment period is now underway for anyone who needs coverage through the Affordable Care Act or is looking to change plans through May 15. Traditionally, the open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace runs Nov. 1-Dec. 15 yearly.


The additional period is bound to spark questions, which the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s health insurance navigators offer help for people looking at plans available on Healthcare.gov.


What is the special open enrollment period?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden administration announced a three-month enrollment window for first-time applicants or people who have lost health insurance coverage can enroll in a plan and existing consumers can switch if they want.


Financial assistance is available
If your household income is between 100%-400% of the federal poverty level, you may be eligible for financial assistance that lower the cost of premiums. If your household income is below 250%, you may be eligible for financial assistance that will help lower out-of-pocket costs if you select a Silver plan.


People who aren't eligible for Medicaid due to their immigration status may be eligible for  assistance even if their income is below 100% FPL.


You can change your Healthcare.gov coverage plan
The new plan will start the first month after the enrollment is complete.


How to enroll in the Marketplace
If you already have a Healthcare.gov account, log in. If the size of your household or income has changed, gather supporting documentation such as tax returns from last year or recent pay stubs. You may be required to provide copies to the Marketplace.


Existing plan prices won't change because of the new open enrollment period
There'll be no change to subsidies you are receiving, so the price of coverage should stay the same. Still make sure to report any life changes you have during the year to the Marketplace to ensure you are paying the right amount.


Free appointments with a local navigator can be made by calling 1-855-733-3711, or online at www.ncnavigator.net.

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