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Hawai’i residents without Health Insurance urged to explore options during special enrollment period

by Thunda

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Insurance Division is encouraging Hawaii residents who have lost their health insurance coverage at any point this year to visit HealthCare.gov, as they may be eligible to enroll in healthcare coverage, and possibly qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers their premium through HealthCare.gov.

Unprecedented unemployment numbers during the pandemic resulted in widespread loss of job-based insurance. Those who lose their health insurance typically get a 60-day special enrollment period (SEP) to enroll in coverage, but with the Federal Emergency Management Agency declaring COVID-19 a national emergency, individuals may qualify for another SEP outside of the 60-day deadline.

“Thousands of our island residents are suffering from the effects of the crippled economy, but we should not gamble on our health,” said Insurance Commissioner Colin Hayashida. “This special enrollment period allows for a chance to get comprehensive health insurance coverage for those who qualify.”

Individuals who lost their health coverage any time this year, regardless of job loss or other reasons, should immediately check www.healthcare.gov/sep-list/ for more information and to apply for coverage. Individuals who experienced life changes other than job loss may also qualify if their life was affected in some way by COVID-19. Anyone with questions may contact the HealthCare.gov call center at (800) 318-2596.

If an individual did not experience any SEP-qualifying events this year, they may still sign up for health insurance for 2021 starting on November 1, 2020. Many may also be eligible for Medicaid, which is open year-round, so anyone who needs health coverage is encouraged to explore their options at HealthCare.gov.

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