The coronavirus (COVID-19) has left many people with questions about health insurance coverage. HealthMarkets answers some of the most frequently asked questions.

Will My Health Insurance Cover Coronavirus Testing?¹

Your health insurance may cover necessary coronavirus (COVID-19) testing during the public health emergency period.2 In general, you shouldn’t be held to any cost-sharing requirements such as deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance during the emergency period.3, 4

Check with your insurance company for details about coverage and benefits.

Will Health Insurance Cover a Coronavirus Vaccine?5

Vaccines bought with taxpayer money will be available to Americans at no cost — including uninsured Americans. Healthcare providers who give the vaccine shot can charge an administration fee, which private and public health insurance plans may reimburse. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund can reimburse administration fees for uninsured Americans.

I’m Concerned About the Coronavirus. Can I Still Get Health Insurance?

The annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for health insurance is from November 1 to December 15 each year in most states. If you miss the OEP, you may still be able to get health insurance coverage if you’re eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) or if you qualify for Medicaid.6,7

I’ve Lost My Job. Can I Still Get Health Insurance?6,7

You may be able to get health insurance if you have lost your job within the past 60 days. Generally, the loss of a job is considered a qualifying life event, which could make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Some qualifying life events include:

  • Losing employer health insurance as the result of a layoff.
  • Changes in your household such as getting married or having a baby.

See a list of qualifying life events. If you qualify, you have 60 days to enroll during an SEP. Usually, you have up to 60 days following the loss of a job to enroll in an individual health insurance plan that’s not connected to an employer.

If you miss this 60-day window, you’ll have to wait until the fall when the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) begins for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, or you can see if you qualify for a short-term health insurance plan. If you’re eligible for Medicaid and/or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), you can enroll any time of year, whether you qualify for an SEP or not.

I Don’t Qualify for a Special Enrollment Period or Medicaid. What Are My Options?

If you missed the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) and do not qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) or Medicaid, you may qualify for a short-term health insurance plan. These plans may be a good fit for individuals who need temporary coverage. The plans weren’t designed to cover everything, such as pre-existing conditions, and they don’t provide coverage for all the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) essential benefits. If you want a plan that covers all the essential benefits, you’ll have to wait until the Open Enrollment Period — November 1 to December 15 each year in most states — to apply for an ACA plan.

Explore Your Health Insurance Options

Don’t wait. If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), discover which health insurance plans are available to you. Get a free quote through HealthMarkets or talk to a licensed insurance agent at (800) 304-3414 about your coverage options, which also could include short-term health insurance. We’re here to help you find coverage that fits your needs.

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References

1. “Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Updated November 25, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html
2. “Renewal of Determination That a Public Health Emergency Exists.” January 7, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/phe/Pages/covid19-07Jan2021.aspx
3. “Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Division F—Health Provisions Sec. 6001. Coverage of Testing for COVID–19.” United States Congress. March 18, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/116/plaws/publ127/PLAW-116publ127.pdf (page 25).
4. “Compilation of the Social Security Laws: Authority to Waive Requirements During National Emergencies.” Social Security Administration. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title11/1135.htm
5. “Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination.” Centers for Disease Control. Updated December 13, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html
6. “Enroll in or change 2021 plans — only with a Special Enrollment Period.” HealthCare.gov. Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage-outside-open-enrollment/special-enrollment-period/
7. “Medicaid & CHIP coverage.” HealthCare.gov. Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/getting-medicaid-chip/

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