MADISON, WI (STL.News) Gov. Tony Evers, with Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, today encouraged Wisconsinites who have lost their health insurance coverage at any point this year to visit HealthCare.gov to enroll in healthcare coverage that works for them.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency, allowing people who lost coverage through their employer and were previously prevented from enrolling in coverage due to COVID-19 to apply for coverage through an extended special enrollment period (SEP).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how critical healthcare coverage is for every Wisconsinite,” said Gov. Evers “While we still have much work to do to make healthcare coverage more accessible and affordable, anyone who has lost coverage should take this opportunity to use the extended open enrollment period and get covered.”
“This pandemic has reinforced the importance of access to quality healthcare,” Commissioner Afable said. “I would encourage anyone who has lost coverage to explore their options, including HealthCare.gov plans. If you need help understanding your options, there is free help available either by calling 2-1-1 or visiting www.WisCovered.com.”
Additional SEP information can be found here. Wisconsinites also might be eligible to enroll in a plan if they have experienced a qualifying life event, such as getting married or having a baby.
“We know access to quality, affordable healthcare is key to living a healthy life. And that is no more true than during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said DHS Secretary-designee Palm. “Wisconsinites who need access to affordable and quality healthcare should explore their healthcare.gov and BadgerCare options.”
Wisconsinites who have lost coverage can work with an enrollment assister or an agent to enroll in a new insurance plan through HealthCare.gov, which may be more affordable than using a health insurance extension from their employer under the federal COBRA provision. Some individuals may also be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through BadgerCare.
Earlier this summer, the Office of Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) and Gov. Evers launched WisCovered to connect Wisconsinites with free, expert help to get healthcare coverage. Available in English, Spanish, and Hmong, WisCovered helps put people in touch with assistance via phone from organizations like Covering Wisconsin and the United Way’s 211. These experts can help families understand their coverage options and determine if they qualify for free coverage through BadgerCare or help paying for their premium with an individual plan from HealthCare.gov. WisCovered is the result of a public-private partnership created by Gov. Evers in 2019 to help make sure every Wisconsinite has access to affordable health insurance.