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Special enrollment period now open for Affordable Care Act

Priority Health experts are standing by to help navigate health coverage options for the special enrollment period February 15 through May 15.

WEST MICHIGAN - The special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act is open from February 15 through May 15. It's a chance for Americans who don't have health insurance, to find the short term or long term coverage they need. If a coverage plan was selected during the initial enrollment period from November 1 through December 15 2020, that person does not to take any action right now. The special enrollment is only if the initial period was missed or if their personal situation has changed.

"They can come into an ACA product, and they can stay on this product for the entire year, or some people know that their jobs will be furloughed for a period of time, so they can stay on the product for as long as you need it," says Priority Health Vice President of Individual Markets, Carrie Kincaid. "Some people that already went through it, and did their due diligence at that time and got the coverage that they needed, they don't need to do anything at this point. They are covered and their coverage is still secure."

For first time users, when information is entered into the marketplace at Healthcare.gov, it will be determined if that user qualifies for Medicaid.

"It will be determined at the point in time if you're eligible for the Healthy Michigan expansion product which is a Medicaid product, or if you should be on the marketplace and what your subsidies will look like. And right now about 9 in 10 people in Michigan are qualifying for the subsidized product," says Kincaid.

Kincaid says the tools on the marketplace will guide users to the coverage needed, whether that person has a pre-existing condition or is planning to start a family. There are also plans for families. It's best to do the research and begin the process of signing up for a plan sooner than later. 

"There are some tools on the marketplace that or private websites that will help you, a lot of them will lead you for example if you're planning to have a baby or different things like that and so what is the actual cost of living on the plan. Because sometimes the premium looks really appealing, but then you realize its going to be really hard to live on the plan," Kincaid says. "I think overall the importance of having health insurance and having coverage is really prevalent in people's minds right now."

Plans will cover the costs associated with COVID-19 including testing and treatment.  And experts warn that every day a person goes without health coverage, they are taking a big risk.

To find assistance in navigating health coverage option with the Affordable Care Act, connect with the experts at Priority Health.

To explore health coverage options of the Affordable Care Act, click here

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