Tax professionals across the country have undoubtedly served clients who lost health insurance due to layoffs, a reduction in work hours, or another issue stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The one-two punch of reduced income and possible uninsured medical expenses can be devastating for these families.
To help address this need, the president opened a special enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace on HealthCare.gov, giving uninsured and underinsured Americans another opportunity to get coverage. Unfortunately, many may not be aware that the marketplace is open or how to even use it, which is why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is asking tax professionals to help spread the word.
To help tax pros be better prepared for these conversations, the agency created a fact sheet on CMS.gov: “2021 Special Enrollment Period in response to the COVID-19 Emergency.”
How long is the HealthCare.gov special enrollment period open?
The HealthCare.gov special enrollment period runs from February 15, 2021 to May 15, 2021. While applications are due by May 15, the fact sheet on CMS.gov notes that “consumers will have 30 days after they submit their application to choose a plan.” Currently enrolled consumers can also use this period to adjust their current plan.
How do eligible consumers sign up for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace?
Eligible consumers can visit HealthCare.gov or call 1.800.318.2596 to sign up for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The CMS fact sheet includes a link to the “Getting Marketplace Health Insurance” quick guide on HealthCare.gov.
How much do HealthCare.gov health insurance plans cost?
According to CMS, roughly 75 percent of those who are enrolled through the Health Insurance Marketplace received financial assistance that reduced their monthly insurance cost to $50 or less.