Health insurance enrollment period for unemployed ends Aug. 15

From job loss to sickness, so many people have faced hardships during the coronavirus pandemic, and health care is even more important right now. The Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov is offering low-cost private health insurance to anyone who is receiving — or already received — unemployment benefits in 2021 during a special enrollment period. 

Many were left reeling during the pandemic, as jobs were cut and workers furloughed, left without health insurance while some even battled illnesses.

"Access to health insurance, quality health insurance is critically important," said Dr. LaShawn McIver.

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McIver says paying out-of-pocket can cost thousands of dollars. There's an opportunity right now to maintain the cost of your care.

"Now through Aug. 15, there is a special enrollment period underway as a result of the American Rescue Plan," said McIver. "Consumers can benefit from greatly expanded financial assistance."

Dr. LaShawn McIver

McIver said as of July 1, anyone who’s received unemployment compensation will benefit greatly.

"Four out of five individuals are finding plans as low as $10 a month or less, and for a family of four that may have gotten premiums for $400, they are finding plans for $163 or less," said McIver. "If you received any type of unemployment compensation this year, there are also special provisions. People are paying as low as $0 a month for their premium."

McIver added that the help has been expanded in significant ways.

"In addition, those in higher income brackets are finding out they are able to benefit from this expanded financial assistance," said McIver.

As the director of the Office of Minority Health, McIver feels this can promote and improve health equity, especially in communities that are underserved.

"I can’t underscore how important it is to have access to quality health care plans so you can maintain good health," said McIver.

If you received unemployment benefits in 2021, you can see what assistance you qualify for or even sign up. The special enrollment period ends Aug. 15.

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