2021 Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured Residents
We’ve got great news: Millions of Americans now have another opportunity to sign up for health insurance until May 15.
In response to the increasing risks of COVID-19 across the country, an executive order has been signed to create a new 3-month Special Enrollment Period. Starting February 15th, uninsured individuals can start enrolling in 2021 health plans.
COVID-19 is impacting Americans in a variety of ways -- physically, financially, and mentally. And healthcare is becoming a more essential priority than ever before with nearly 18 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits of some kind. The goal of this new enrollment window is to get more folks insured, making sure they have access to the treatment they need most if they become sick.
Below, we answer a few of the biggest questions about this new special enrollment period. We hope this provides clarity and helps you find a health plan that’s a great fit for you.
As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to our team of health insurance experts at this page. Selecting the right health plan can be tricky, and we’re here to help!
When is this new special enrollment period?
The new special enrollment period started on Monday, February 15th* and ends Saturday, May 15th. Your insurance will go into effect the first of the following month. For example, if you enroll in a plan on March 15th, your health insurance will kick in April 1st.
These plans will be valid throughout the entire year of 2021.
*In the state of Colorado, this special enrollment period began on February 8th.
Where and how do I enroll?
You have three options for buying health insurance during this period, and they all have their perks.
Your first option is to buy directly through your state's health insurance exchange. There, you'll find all of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans being offered in your state. You can compare benefits and prices and decide what plan best fits your healthcare needs.
You can also see if you qualify for federal assistance to lower your premium and possibly other healthcare costs. More than half of currently uninsured Americans may qualify for financial assistance. If you do qualify for a subsidy, you must enroll on your state’s health insurance marketplace.
Your second option is to buy a health plan directly through an ACA-compliant health insurance carrier, like Friday Health Plans. This is a one-stop experience, where you can enroll in your health plan and take care of your first month's premium payment.
Lastly, you can use a certified and trusted health insurance broker to help you navigate plans and find the perfect fit for you.
Who qualifies for this special enrollment period?
Anyone who does not currently have insurance can purchase a plan during this enrollment period. Maybe you didn’t buy a plan during open enrollment. Or maybe you had your hours reduced at your job and lost your insurance earlier this year. Regardless, this enrollment period is specifically for uninsured Americans seeking a health plan.
Do all health plans cover COVID-19?
All ACA-approved health plans cover COVID-19 tests, treatment and vaccines, protecting you and your wallet in case you get really sick. But make sure you're getting ACA-compliant coverage, not buying from a Health Care-Sharing Ministry (HCSM) or a short-term insurance plan.
ACA-compliant coverage refers to health plans that offer benefits for a broad range of healthcare services that meet the Affordable Care Act requirements, which is also known as ObamaCare. Major health insurance companies, like Friday Health Plans, offer ACA-compliant coverage.
ACA-compliant coverage cannot deny you for pre-existing conditions and guarantees access to essential health benefits like free annual wellness exams and preventive medicines and procedures, and are regulated to ensure you get the coverage you’re paying for.
What does Friday Health Plans cover?
At Friday, we pride ourselves on offering plans that give you the most value for your dollar. That means covering the healthcare services and benefits you’ll use the most, especially during the pandemic.
Many of our plans feature $0 unlimited primary care doctor visits, $0 Teladoc services, $0 unlimited mental health counseling, and access to thousands of generic drugs. In this quick guide, you can learn about what you’ll get with a Friday Health Plan.