Health insurance open enrollment window set for Feb. 15-May 15

The Biden administration announced Thursday it will open a special health insurance enrollment period from Feb. 15 through May 15, 2021.

This special enrollment period will allow Oregonians who are looking for health coverage to shop at HealthCare.gov.

In recent years, Oregon made great strides in reducing the state’s uninsured rate.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 94 percent of all Oregonians had health coverage. Since the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Oregonians either lost their job or experienced a loss in income.

These Oregonians may be eligible for financial help to purchase health insurance.

Insurance agents and community partner organizations throughout the state are available to help people apply for financial assistance and choose private plans. Oregonians seeking insurance can also browse plans to review savings eligiblilty at OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop.

Oregonians who do not get health insurance through their job or a program such as the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare may qualify for help paying for 2021 coverage at OregonHealthCare.gov.

Even if people are temporarily uninsured, they can sign up for help between Feb. 15 and May 15 to get health insurance for 2021.

“This new opportunity to enroll in health coverage for 2021 is critical during the current pandemic,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “You can get help paying for health insurance based on your income. Don’t assume you make too much to be eligible.”

Individuals making $51,040 or less per year, and families of four making $104,800 or less, may receive help paying for coverage.

In 2020, more than seven in 10 Oregonians who chose plans through HealthCare.gov received financial help for monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. These savings lowered the average premium to just $145 per month.

To apply, go to OregonHealthCare.gov between Feb. 15 and May 15 and answer a few Oregon-specific questions to get to the right application.

You can also search the “get help” directory on OregonHealthCare.gov to find an insurance agent or community partner organization to help you complete the application and enroll. Insurance agents and community partners provide local, one-on-one assistance at no charge to the client. This help is available virtually over the phone, and in person following safety protocols.

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