|RICHMOND (February 15, 2021) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring is urging Virginians to take advantage of the open enrollment period that begins today, February 15th, and explore their health care coverage options on HealthCare.Gov. President Joe Biden announced last week that he would open the Affordable Care Act marketplace on February 15th for a 90-day period. As COVID continues to spread and with the vaccine rollout well underway, it’s more important than ever for Virginians to make sure they are covered.
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least 7.7 million Americans have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance. Additionally, four out of 10 Americans who do not currently have health care coverage could be eligible for free insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Typically, the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period runs from November 1 – December 15 of every year, so that the health insurance coverage begins at the start of the following year.
“President Biden’s decision to reopen the Affordable Care Act marketplace gives Virginians another opportunity to check their coverage options on HealthCare.Gov, especially if they have experienced any COVID-related job-loss that has lead to a loss of health insurance,” said Attorney General Herring. “While we are seeing more and more Virginians getting vaccinated, we cannot forget that we are still in the middle of this unprecedented public health crisis that has taken almost 500,000 Americans so far and continues to spread through our communities. If you were not able to take advantage of last year’s open enrollment period, or if you now find yourself in different circumstances, I would encourage you to go on HealthCare.Gov and see what kind of coverage you qualify for. This past year has shown us just how incredibly important having health insurance really is to keep Virginians, their families and their communities healthy and safe.”
At least 7.7 million Americans, including tens of thousands of Virginians, have lost or could lose their employer-sponsored health care coverage because of COVID-related job-loss, and these individuals should check HealthCare.Gov and see what their coverage options are. Hundreds of thousands of Virginians have filed for unemployment benefits with the Virginia Employment Commission since the start of the pandemic. Some Virginians may even be eligible for all or part of their out of pocket costs to be covered as well.
Over the course of the COVID pandemic, Attorney General Herring has urged Virginians who had lost or could lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic to evaluate their insurance options to make sure they remain covered during the ongoing public health crisis.
Additionally, in April 2020, Attorney General Herring sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, under then President Trump, urging them to reconsider their shortsighted decision to deny a special enrollment period on HealthCare.Gov during the current worldwide pandemic. In the letter, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues argued that the federal government should take action to make it possible for Americans across the country who are facing uncertainty as a result of COVID-19 to obtain the healthcare coverage that they need during this critical times.