Find Out if You Qualify for 2021 Special Enrollment Due to COVID-19
There is a 2021 special enrollment due to COVID-19. Special enrollment due to COVID-19 runs from Feb 15, 2021 to May 15, 2021 (extended to Aug 15, 2021).
Everyone who doesn’t have insurance qualifies, and many people will qualify for assistance based on income or based on being on unemployment for filing for it.
You also qualify to enroll in special enrollment if you had a qualifying life event and in Medicaid or CHIP if your income is low enough.
This means, unlike most special enrollment periods, everyone that uses HealthCare.Gov qualifies for this special enrolment regardless of other qualifying circumstances like moving.
With that said, not every state has the same exact rules (see below).
UPDATE: Special Enrollment for COVID-19 was extended until Aug 15th. Assistance for the unemployed and eligibility for the unemployed was also temporarily expanded.
2021 Special Enrollment Due to COVID-19 Dates HealthCare.Gov
Here are the deadlines for the 36 states that use HealthCare.gov.
- February 15, 2021: Special Enrollment 2021 begins.
- Aug 15, 2021: Special Enrollment 2021 ends.
There are no known extensions at this time. See state-based deadlines below.
Did My State Do Special Enrollment For Coronavirus?
The 14 other states were all encouraged by the federal government to implement the same special enrollment for all.
You should check with your state, but here are the general state-based special enrollment deadlines (notice that some are extended while others are limited).
2021 Special Enrollment Due to COVID-19 State-based Deadlines
- California: Through December 31
- Colorado: Through “at least” August 15
- Connecticut: Through August 15
- DC: Through the end of the pandemic emergency period
- Idaho: Through April 30 (ended; a qualifying event is now necessary in order to enroll or change plans)
- Maryland: Through August 15 (retroactive coverage is available, depending on when a person enrolls)
- Massachusetts: Through July 23
- Minnesota: Through July 16 (for uninsured residents and people transitioning from off-exchange to on-exchange coverage)
- Nevada: Through August 15
- New Jersey: Through December 31
- New York: Through December 31
- Pennsylvania: Through August 15
- Rhode Island: Through August 15
- Vermont: Through October 1 (for uninsured residents)
- Washington: Through August 15
Did You Have to Have Had COVID-19 To Qualify?
To be very clear, you do not have to have had COVID-19 to qualify! Everyone qualifies regardless of life circumstances as long as they don’t already have coverage. This of course does not change subsidy rules or other rules pertaining to the marketplace, it just impacts enrollment eligibility. If you are in doubt, visit the marketplace online or call for assistance!
Why Is There a Special Enrollment Period?
This special enrollment is a result of an executive order to be signed by President Biden. It is a response to the coronavirus pandemic and a push to make sure more Americans have access to affordable quality healthcare.
What is Special Enrollment?
Special enrollment is a time outside of the normal open enrollment period for healthcare where you can sign up for coverage with cost assistance. Most special enrollment periods are triggered due to qualifying life events of a person, but the government can also create special enrollment periods.