Last month, HHS and CMS announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families for Marketplace coverage in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This SEP will allow individuals and families in states with Marketplaces served by the HealthCare.gov platform to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage. Beginning today, February 15, 2021 and through May 15, 2021, these Marketplaces will make this SEP available to all Marketplace-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. State-based Marketplaces (SBMs) operating their own platform have the opportunity to take similar action within their states.
The SEP will be offered to consumers applying for new coverage or updating an existing application through HealthCare.gov, the Marketplace call center, or through direct enrollment channels. Coverage is prospective, with coverage beginning the first day of the month following the date of plan selection.
Starting today, February 15, consumers seeking to take advantage of the new SEP can find out if they are eligible by visiting HealthCare.gov.
All providers should remind their staff to verify patients’ insurance information at every visit. Many people are changing their insurance due to the impact of the pandemic.