The 2021 Obamacare open enrollment extension has been approved by President Biden. This is great news for many of you who missed the 2021 open enrollment deadline for the Marketplace health insurance. The regular open enrollment period ran from November 1st, 2020 through December 15th, 2020.
Because the Obamacare open enrollment extension has now been approved by executive order, health insurance Marketplace enrollment for 2021 will reopen on Feb 15. The extended open enrollment period will run through May 15, 2021.
If you missed the regular enrollment period, and you still need health insurance, you can schedule an appointment with a health insurance agent now.
More Good News for Floridians Needing Health Insurance
The key reason for the extended deadline is the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Florida is known to have more of newly contagious strands of Covid-19 than any other state in the US. It is entirely unsafe for any Floridian to be without adequate health insurance coverage this year. Despite the situation with the pandemic, there is good news.
The Obamacare Open Enrollment extension period will allow Floridians who missed the regular enrollment period another opportunity to get health coverage thru the marketplace.
The other piece of good news is that the President has also announced an increase in the number of government subsidies for some insurance premiums. It is hoped that this extended enrollment period for Obamacare will give those who missed the initial enrollment another chance to get their health insurance and subsidies for 2021.
Health Insurance Open Enrollment Extension Due to Covid-19
The National Marketplace Health insurance open enrollment for Obamacare in 2021 began on November 1, 2020 and ended on December 15, 2020. Those who were able to enroll had their coverage start on Jan 1, 2021. However, a fair number of Americans failed to enroll.
It appears that the Covid-19 pandemic has been responsible for most of the missed deadlines. Recent estimates indicate that close to 7.7 million Americans lost their jobs and employer-sponsored healthcare coverage last year. Additionally, there are 6.9 million dependents who have also been affected by the caregiver’s job loss.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a serious national crises and millions of Americans are experiencing a variety of health issues, many with no healthcare coverage.
Deadlines for Obamacare Coverage Extended for Floridians
Even before the Obamacare open enrollment extension by President Biden, some states had already extended their open enrollment periods. The extensions were common in states that do not utilize the federal marketplace but have their own state-run health insurance plans. Since Florida utilizes the federal marketplace, this Obamacare open enrollment extension will allow more of us the opportunity to get coverage.
In all cases, the effective date for the health insurance plan to come into force following the regular open enrollment for Obamacare was Jan 1, 2021. For those who will be enrolling during the extended open enrollment, their effective date of coverage and duration will be based on the time when they apply.
Special Enrollment Cases
Even though the dates of open enrollment to obtain Obamacare health insurance are rigid, some Americans are eligible to enroll later if they have a qualifying event. This includes in the presence of a life-changing event such as:
• Loss of job-related group coverage
• Getting married
• Having a baby
• Adopting a child
In many cases, job losses have been related to Covid-19; the individual may have been laid off or furloughed leading to loss of group health coverage. All these individuals may have qualified for a special enrollment period to still apply for Obamacare in the marketplace, but only for a limited time.
The New Open Enrollment Extension Versus Special Enrollment Period
The Obamacare open enrollment extension by President Biden will be of enormous relief to Floridians who may have recently lost their jobs and are without insurance coverage. President Biden has also requested the various healthcare agencies to reinforce Medicaid and Obamacare to ensure that all Americans are covered fully at least till the end of 2021.
As the country continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, President Biden stated that Americans must have guaranteed access and adequate healthcare coverage. Due to the seriousness of the Covid-19 disease, former President Trump was asked by the healthcare industry and the democratic leaders to extend the marketplace open enrollment period for health insurance late last year, but he steadfastly refused.
Former President Trump had said that Americans who lost their coverage due to the pandemic should sign up using the special enrollment periods. The process for obtaining special enrollment is far more complex than the open enrollment because special enrollment applicants need to prove their eligibility. Further, a special enrollment period doesn’t make insurance available to individuals who have been without insurance for an extended period.
Overall, the new open enrollment extension for Obamacare has been met with approval from healthcare institutions, healthcare leaders, and health insurers. Having no health insurance in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic can result in astronomical healthcare bills that can lead to bankruptcy and even home foreclosures.
What To Do if You Still Need Obamacare Health Insurance
Failure get health insurance coverage for 2021 could in severe financial problems, especially if you fall ill. All Americans who did not register during the regular open enrollment for Obamacare health insurance can utilize HealthCare.gov, direct enrollment agencies, or the marketplace call center to obtain coverage. Government funded advertising campaigns have already been initiated to reach out to those who are uninsured and make them aware of the extended deadline.
Agents and brokers are available to help you enroll without any hassles
Barakat Insurance specializes in Obamacare enrollment assistance. We have helped thousands of Floridians thru the process of Marketplace enrollment, and we will gladly help you obtain health insurance during the Obamacare Open Enrollment Extension for 2021.