The Federal government announced important opportunity in response to the public health emergency during the Coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges for the American public with millions of Americans facing uncertainty and experiencing new health problems during the pandemic. Due to the exceptional circumstances and rapidly changing Public Health Emergency (PHE) impacting millions of people throughout the US every day, many Americans remain uninsured or underinsured and still need affordable health coverage. In accordance with the Executive Order issued today by President Biden, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) determined that the COVID-19 emergency presents exceptional circumstances for consumers in accessing health insurance and will provide a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families to apply and enroll in the coverage they need.
From February 15, 2021 through May 15, 2021, Jurisdictions that use HealthCare.gov platform will operationalize functionality to make a SEP available to all Marketplace-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. These consumers will newly be able to access the SEP through a variety of channels: through HealthCare.gov directly, the Marketplace call center, or direct enrollment channels. Additionally, consumers can work with a network of over 50,000 agents and brokers who are registered with the Marketplace, along with over 8,000 trained assisters, ready to assist consumers with their application for coverage.