Job loss serves as a qualifying life event to enroll in the Affordable Care Act’s health care exchange
HARRISBURG—Attorney General Shapiro is reminding the nearly 1.5 million unemployed Pennsylvanians who have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage that they are eligible to obtain health insurance through Healthcare.gov.
“Our job is to work together to protect the health and safety of Pennsylvanians as we beat this crisis, and the Administration isn’t doing it’s part,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “Pennsylvanians who’ve lost health insurance can sign up for coverage now at www.healthcare.gov. During these uncertain times, the last thing Pennsylvanians need to worry about is how they are going to be covered if they need to see their doctor or go to the emergency room.”
The ACA requires the HHS Secretary to provide yearly open enrollment periods on the Exchanges to permit individuals to enroll in new or different healthcare coverage. Outside of those set periods, individuals may enroll in coverage through the Exchange if they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to certain life events such as loss of employment offering healthcare coverage. In 2018, over half of individuals under age 65 had insurance through an employer.
The Attorney General has been urging HHS to empower individuals and working families across the country to pursue the best coverage option for them, whether it is Exchange coverage, COBRA, Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. While the federal government’s promise to reimburse for the testing and treatment of COVID-19 for the uninsured is a step in the right direction, families and individuals need to take advantage of the special enrollment period for qualifying live events to ensure more comprehensive healthcare.