OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – On Monday a new special enrollment period opened up for health insurance though the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Usually the enrollment period is from November 1st through December 15th, but due to the pandemic this extra period was added to help people get health insurance.
“We know that thousands of West Virginia families lost their jobs and therefore their health insurance and just with so much else going on may have missed that first open enrollment period,” said Program Director for West Virginia Navigator Jeremy Smith. “This is going to give people an opportunity to still be able to get signed up and be able to get good affordable health insurance for them and their family.”
In order to sign up for health insurance through the affordable care act you have to go through the health insurance marketplace on healthcare.gov. However, West Virginia Navigator, which is a free grant funded program, can help you navigate through the process and answer any questions you have along the way.
“If somebody calls us we can actually do that application for a consumer and answer all of their questions, make sure their doctors are networked, their medications are going to be covered, talk to them about the prices and the deductibles,” Smith said. “We really just make it a lot easier for somebody to navigate if they need to go ahead and get signed up for a plan.
If you need to enroll in a health insurance plan Smith recommends enrolling by the end of February so your plan can start on March 1st. Smith also said that nine out of ten people who sign up on the marketplace don’t realize that they qualify for financial assistance to help pay for your plan.
“That comes in the form of a monthly subsidy from the federal government and the amount of subsidy you can get each month is based on your projected 2021 annual income,” said Smith. “That subsidy helps to make the plans more affordable right away for families.”
The open enrollment period runs until May 15th. If you have questions West Virginia Navigator is open Monday through Friday 8 AM to 7 PM and can be reached at 304-356-5834 or online at acanavigator.com