COVID-19 AND HEALTH INSURANCE
With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many people who do not have insurance may be wondering if they can now enroll in a plan. Currently, individuals in states on the federally facilitated marketplace that use healthcare.gov are ineligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) because, as of the writing of this newsletter, the federal government has not authorized a SEP due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, some states which run their own state-based marketplace (SBM) have elected to offer a SEP during this time to allow for enrollment. For a full list of what the SBMs are doing, check out our news item.
In addition, the Kaiser Family Foundation has a webpage dedicated to what different states are doing as it relates to health insurance coverage for COVID-19. This helpful page includes interactive maps with the number of cases and deaths in each state and what states are doing related to waiving cost-sharing for testing and/or treatment, waiver of preauthorization requirements and allowance for early prescription refills.
The Kaiser Family Foundation also has an issue brief which addresses what states could do with their Medicaid programs to help in the response for COVID-19.
This month represents the 10-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) becoming law and on Monday, the ACA will have been the law of the land for 10 years. Throughout this month we have been highlighting opportunities for you to celebrate what the ACA means for consumers and especially people with disabilities. Last week, we started a series of 10 blog posts which highlight the importance of the ACA for people with disabilities. Today’s blog post highlights the significance of Medicaid expansion and what it means for the disability community. Links for the prior blog posts and our scheduled blog posts for the weekend is as follows:
- Friday, 3/13: Prohibition against Denial of Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions
- Saturday, 3/14: Guaranteed Renewability of Coverage
- Sunday, 3/15: Prohibition against Individual Underwriting
- Monday, 3/16: Essential Health Benefits Required in Every Qualified Health Plan
- Tuesday, 3/17: Prohibition against Lifetime Monetary Caps
- Wednesday, 3/18: Prohibition against Discrimination in Health Programs
- Thursday, 3/19: Extension of Mental Health Parity to the Individual and Small Group Market
- Friday, 3/20: Medicaid Expansion
- Saturday, 3/21: Highlighting Other Protections/Benefits
- Sunday, 3/22: Advocacy – The Future of the ACA
As part of the ACA celebration, AAHD will be participating in a Twitter chat on Monday, March 23, which represents the actual anniversary date of the ACA. Raising Women’s Voices will host a chat from 3:00-4:00 PM ET. For that chat, you can follow along using #ACA10.
AAHD is working with Community Catalyst and other partners in conducting outreach to educate individuals about health insurance literacy, special enrollment periods (SEPs) and other issues related to healthcare enrollment. Recently, several new resources were released including graphics like the one below which highlights properly using your health insurance and avoiding the ER. Links to the graphics can be found in our blog post. Community Catalyst has an Outreach Hub which has a wide variety of graphics addressing many different areas. To learn more about the project we are doing with Community Catalyst, check out our earlier news item.
Are you looking for local partners to help with outreach to the disability community? The NDNRC has Community Outreach Collaboratives (COCs) which work to increase collaborations in the community, dissemination and outreach efforts and enrollment of people with disabilities in the ACA marketplace. You can find a COC, on the COC page of our website.
Archives of our weekly updates are available on the NDNRC website.