The Record Delta
Anyone who received Unemployment Benefits in 2021 may qualify for a free health insurance plan
PARKERSBURG — On Wednesday, July 7, from 1 p.m.-7 p.m., representatives will be available for free, in-person ACA health insurance enrollment help at the Fort Boreman Room of the Judge Donald F. Black Courthouse Annex at 317 Market St, Parkersburg, WV 26101. This event will be hosted by WV for Affordable Health Care, Health Care for All WV, and WV Navigator, a federally funded non-profit program.
Any West Virginia resident will be able to come to the event to get free enrollment or re-enrollment help for Marketplace plans. Representatives will be able to answer questions or provide enrollment assistance.
Dramatic changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have made it possible for many more WV residents to get affordable health insurance. One of the most significant changes is that anyone who received Unemployment benefits during 2021 is eligible for free private insurance if they are still unable to qualify for other insurance options. These new provisions launch on July 1, 2021.
Anyone who is not eligible for insurance through Medicare, Medicaid, or employer-based insurance is eligible to purchase insurance under the ACA’s provisions. New rules have expanded subsidies and lowered monthly premiums. Anyone currently enrolled or those who are uninsured and need coverage can take advantage of the enhanced financial help. Even most high-income earners will now be able to qualify for the lower-cost plans. Four in ten people who sign up get a plan for less than $10 per month.
West Virginians have until August 15, 2021, to enroll in the program. However, there is growing concern that many are going without insurance because they are unaware of these changes. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “The COVID relief bill passed in early March 2021 provided additional financial assistance to people who buy their own health insurance. The vast majority of those who are eligible for this financial assistance are either unsure whether the COVID-19 relief package included this financial assistance (82%) or say it did not happen (9%), while about one in ten (9%) are aware of this increased financial assistance. Additionally, only a small minority of those potentially eligible for additional financial help or coverage report going online to see if they qualify for a different or cheaper health insurance plan.”
More information is available by calling (304) 356-5834 or visiting www.acanavigator.com
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