Navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace Amid the Pandemic

Navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace Amid the Pandemic
  • Opening Intro -

    The pandemic has impacted the healthcare marketplace, affecting everything from pricing to open enrollment dates.

    This has made navigating the marketplace challenging if you've not kept up with these changes.


Here are the biggest things that have changed due to the pandemic.

Your Insurance Will Cover Your Vaccines

Since all approved vaccines are effective and safe, you will want to get them. The good news is that your insurance will cover them completely, so they are free for you.

You Should Analyze Any Bill You Get After a Vaccine

As noted, your vaccine will be free. However, if you receive other care at the same time, you could receive a bill. Therefore, anytime you get a bill after you get your vaccine, be sure to analyze it and ensure you are not being charged for it.

Your Insurance Will Cover Testing

All Obamacare plans cover diagnostic testing related to the pandemic, even if you don’t have symptoms or known exposure. This means that you can get a free test, even if you only want one, so you can visit a family member.

You Can Try Telehealth Options

Before you go to the doctor, call the office. As a safety precaution, many routine visits are being done over the computer or phone. Therefore, you should consider getting one of these, which are generally covered by your insurance. If you must go for an in-person visit, be sure to take precautions to protect yourself.

You Can Still Enroll if You Lose Your Job

If you’ve lost your job and its insurance, you can take advantage of the extended enrollment period to get health coverage through the marketplace. This deadline is much later in the year, so you have plenty of time to adjust your application if something changes with your employment. If you lose your job after the extended date, you are eligible for a special enrollment period of 60 days.

Because the pandemic has been declared a national emergency, you can enroll in the marketplace after the extended enrollment period closes if you lost your job and could not find insurance due to the pandemic.

However, this is only if you were prohibited from finding new insurance because of the pandemic. Voluntarily letting your coverage drop does not qualify you for the special enrollment period.

Your New Plan Starts Quickly if You’ve Lost Your Job

If you lost your medical coverage suddenly, your Obamacare plan would start the month after your job-based plan ends. However, if you know you will lose your job-based insurance, you can apply and choose a plan before it ends, so there is no gap in coverage.

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You Can Make Changes if Your Child Returns From College

Because the Obamacare open enrollment period has been extended, your child can enroll in a different plan if they return home from college. Generally, this applies to any students who had qualifying health coverage before returning home or are enrolled in a student insurance plan that doesn’t cover their new residence.

The pandemic has brought a lot of changes to the insurance marketplace. Fortunately, understanding these changes can make it much easier for you to navigate them.

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Categories: Student Health