Des Moines – Iowans who have experienced change in employment status due to COVID -19 may be eligible to enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage through healthcare.gov. A special enrollment period (SEP) is a period outside of open enrollment when a person can enroll in or switch ACA coverage.
“Iowans throughout the state that may need new health insurance coverage due to a job loss may be able to obtain individual coverage from Medica or Wellmark through a special enrollment period. Federal subsidies are available to help lower premium costs in instances where household income will be below 400 percent of federal poverty level,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said. “It’s important for Iowans to fully understand their options. Getting professional help from a licensed insurance agent is recommended.”
Loss of qualifying health coverage, a change in income, or a reduction in work hours within the past 60 days or expected within the next 60 days are examples of events that may trigger an SEP. The Iowa Insurance Division wants to remind Iowans that there is no specific SEP related to the COVID-19 public health emergency that allows those without coverage to enroll in ACA plans. However, Iowans may explore options beyond the ACA such as COBRA, the Farm Bureau health plan or short-term limited duration plans.
Also, those Iowans who experience a reduction in their incomes and who are currently receiving subsidies through their ACA plan should consider updating their income through the healthcare.gov as they may be eligible for increased subsidies for their premium costs.
Iowans can find a licensed insurance agent at https://iid.iowa.gov/find-a-licensed-agent.