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Special COVID-19 health insurance enrollment period begins; Kyians have until May 15 to choose a plan


Kentuckians 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, the Biden Administration has opened up HealthCare.gov to give people who need health insurance a new opportunity to get covered, but they must act quickly.

“More than 77,000 Kentuckians enrolled in a health insurance plan during open enrollment last year,” said Emily Beauregard, Executive Director of Kentucky Voices for Health. “That’s down from years past because more Kentuckians have been temporarily covered by Medicaid during the pandemic. As that temporary coverage ends, the timing of this special enrollment period will mean people have another opportunity to sign up for affordable coverage on HealthCare.gov. People shouldn’t put this off. Every Kentuckian deserves coverage – especially during a public health emergency.”

Health insurance is more affordable than many people think. Approximately 65% of Kentuckians enrolled in the current marketplace had plans available for 2021 that cost them less than $50 per month, after financial help. For Kentucky marketplace enrollees, 8 out of 10 received financial help that lowered their monthly health insurance premiums last year. In addition, 41% of Kentucky consumers enrolled in a marketplace plan also qualified for lower out-of-pocket costs for health care services.

“Most Kentuckians can find good deals and tremendous savings on HealthCare.gov and receive financial assistance to help lower their monthly health insurance costs,” said Betsy Stone, Health Law Fellow for the Kentucky Equal Justice Center. “The health insurance landscape can seem daunting, but luckily here in Kentucky, we have kynectors to help everyone, for free, as they navigate the enrollment process.”

For free, local help available to anyone enrolling in health insurance, Kentuckians should visit kynect.ky.gov to find a kynector near them.

Kentuckians enrolling in a plan on HealthCare.gov are guaranteed to receive comprehensive coverage, without being denied care or charged more due to a pre-existing condition. All plans cover essential benefits, including doctor and hospital visits, prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and maternity care. In addition, Kentuckians with Qualified Health Plans also receive free preventive care services, such as immunizations and health screenings. Testing and treatment of COVID-19 are considered essential health benefits and are covered by all HealthCare.gov plans.

Kentuckians should avoid insurance plans offered outside of HealthCare.gov that seem too good to be true. “Junk insurance” products pose huge financial risks 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.

HealthCare.gov is the only website where Kentuckians are guaranteed to get comprehensive, affordable healthcare coverage,” said Dustin Pugel, Senior Policy Analyst for the Kentucky Center on Economic Policy. “Kentuckians who choose to buy junk plans will be exposed to serious financial and health risks — those plans may seem cheaper at first, but will cost much more the moment you really need them.”

Consumers should log on to HealthCare.gov before May 15 to get the comprehensive health insurance they need.

To learn more, please visit HealthCare.gov or getcovered2021.org.

From Kentucky Voices for Health


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