Suddenly Need Health Insurance After COVID-19 Dislocations? New ‘Exceptional Enrollment Period’ Announced

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In this exceptional time of a sudden COVID-19 outbreak, an “exceptional enrollment period” for health insurance has been instituted by the state government’s Access Health CT.

Beginning Thursday, March 19, and continuing to April 2, state residents without health insurance can apply online here for one of the plans offered by Access Health CT. Coverage can start as early as April 1.

If you lose your job due to the economic dislocations of the COVID-19 outbreak, you can check out what Access Health CT offers and if you’re eligible. Even if you’ve got health insurance for a while and want to keep it, you can find out how to be prepared for your future options.

You can apply on the Access Health CT website or by calling the phone numbers here, according to the website:

  • If you have a Qualifying Life Event, you can enroll online or by calling us at 1-855-909-2428.
  • If you are applying for the New Special Enrollment Period because of COVID-19, you must call us at 1-855-909-2428 to enroll.
  • UPDATE, 8:13 p.m., Wednesday — From an evening news release issued by Gov. Ned Lamont’s office: “The only way to sign up for this special enrollment period is via telephone by calling 1-855-365-2428 (TTY: 1-855-789-2428). Telephone enrollment is available Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.”
  • But the governor’s news release also says that online enrollment is open for people in certain specific situations: “Individuals who lose coverage due to unemployment, experience certain other qualifying life events, or qualify for Medicaid/Children’s Health Program (CHIP), can always enroll online, in-person or over the phone and all help is free.”

Here’s Wednesday’s announcement:

With the exceptional circumstances due to the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, Access Health CT (AHCT) today announced that a NEW Special Enrollment Period will be available to uninsured Connecticut residents to sign up for a health insurance plan offered by either of AHCT’s two insurance carriers. There are other carriers who do not participate in the exchange who are working to provide reinsurance to make this special enrollment period possible.

The New Special Enrollment Period starts Thursday, March 19 and ends on Thursday, April 2, 2020. Connecticut residents must be lawfully present in the United States, and not incarcerated to be eligible. The coverage for those who enroll during this New Special Enrollment Period will start on April 1, 2020.

“No Connecticut resident should worry that testing or treatment will compromise their financial security. I thank each of Connecticut’s health insurance carriers on the exchange, Anthem and ConnectiCare, and Access Health CT CEO James Michel for working with our administration to again offer health insurance to the uninsured during this new Special Enrollment Period,” Governor Lamont said.

“I thank Commissioner Mais and his team at the Insurance Department for their leadership working with our partners in the health insurance industry to assure that we are doing everything we can to provide access to health insurance coverage,” Lamont said.

“We are experiencing a moment in history that requires flexibility and innovative ways to access healthcare,” said Chief Executive Officer at Access Health CT, James Michel. “Since inception, Access Health CT offers year-round enrollment opportunities through Special Enrollments to individuals who experience a Qualifying Life Event, like loss of coverage due to job change. By implementing this new Special Enrollment, we are focusing on the uninsured so they can get covered and stay healthy.”

“The goal is to slow the spread of the virus and reduce its cost to all Connecticut residents. That means everyone who needs it should get access to covered services and be tested and treated if necessary,” said Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais. “Insurance will help make that possible. It will also help those who need treatment avoid burdensome medical bills.”

“ConnectiCare continues to step up to serve the people of Connecticut,” said Eric Galvin, President of ConnectiCare. “This is an opportunity for Connecticut to lead the nation by bringing the entire health ecosystem together to focus on what’s best for our people.”

“As our communities continue to implement measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and care for those impacted, we remain committed to providing greater access to care for more people in Connecticut. It is very important that those who are uninsured take advantage of this special enrollment period. Having health coverage will be important for those seeking treatment for this virus,” said Jill Hummel, President of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut.

“We will continue to be a partner with the state and public officials as we work together to protect public health and provide both access to care and peace of mind for Connecticut residents.”

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