Health coverage special enrollment period starts Monday
Written by Patrick Schneider on February 15, 2021
(Salem) – Today is the first day of a COVID-19 special enrollment period, which lasts until May 15, 2021. This special enrollment period will allow people throughout the United States, including Oregonians, who are looking for health coverage to shop at HealthCare.gov.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant change to hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, who either lost their job or experienced a loss in income. As a result, these Oregonians may be newly eligible for financial help to purchase health insurance. Unlike a typical special enrollment period, this enrollment period is available to everyone, not just those who have experienced a life event. Until May 15, any person who is eligible to shop through the Marketplace may enroll in new coverage or change their current plan.
Insurance agents and community partner organizations throughout the state are available to help people apply for financial assistance and choose private plans. People can also browse plans and find out how much savings they are eligible for at OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop.
Oregonians who do not get health insurance through their job or a program such as the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare may qualify for help paying for 2021 coverage through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. Even if people are temporarily uninsured or are currently enrolled in COBRA coverage, they can sign up for help between Feb. 15 and May 15 to get health insurance for 2021.
“The pandemic has made life uncertain for many Oregonians. We want to help you find a way to control your finances,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “Quality health coverage protects your financial future in the event that you get sick, injured, or something else unforeseen happens.”
“It is true. The pandemic has proven that life is unpredictable. That can be scary when it comes to the health and financial security of your family,” said Amy Coven, communications strategist for the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “Health coverage brings predictability to health needs that may arise, as well as a wealth of benefits to keep you healthy.”
Individuals making $51,040 or less per year, and families of four making $104,800 or less, may get help paying for coverage. In 2020, more than seven in 10 Oregonians who chose plans through HealthCare.gov got financial help for monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. These savings lowered the average premium to just $145 per month.
To apply, go to OregonHealthCare.gov between Feb. 15 and May 15 and answer a few Oregon-specific questions to get to the right application. Persons can also search the “get help” directory on OregonHealthCare.gov to find an insurance agent or community partner organization to help complete the application and enroll. Insurance agents and community partners provide local, one-on-one assistance at no charge to the client. This help is available virtually and over the phone, and in person following safety protocols.