Updated April 14, 2020
In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, at least twelve states are allowing uninsured residents to sign up for new health plans right now. Under ordinary circumstances, most people without insurance would not be allowed to get covered before open enrollment begins again in the fall.
States With Special Enrollment Periods Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The following states have reopened their health insurance exchanges:
- District of Columbia
- New York
- Rhode Island
Depending on the state, this special enrollment period may last from a couple of weeks to a month or more. Check the state links above for details.
The Federal Health Exchange Is Still Closed
Healthcare.gov, the federal health insurance marketplace for more than thirty states, has not yet offered a special enrollment period, and the Trump administration has said that the federal exchange will not open. But the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) remains under pressure to change that stance.
If you are uninsured and you live in a state that is not offering a special enrollment period due to the Coronavirus outbreak, you can check to see if you qualify to sign up for another reason. For example, if you had health insurance through your job and the pandemic has left you unemployed, you will probably qualify. (On a related note, if you’ve still got your job but can’t go to work because of the pandemic, see Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Act for information that might help you. And if you’ve lost your job, see New Unemployment Benefits Under the Coronavirus Stimulus Package.)
Already Insured? Remember to Report Income Changes
If you bought marketplace health insurance for 2020 and you’ve lost income during the pandemic, contact your insurance exchange. If you currently receive insurance subsidies, you may get more help. And if you didn’t qualify for financial assistance when you signed up, you may be able to get some now.
To learn more about purchasing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, see our Obamacare Learning Center.
For more about special enrollment periods, see What Happens If You Miss the Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline.