Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area
- Will my health insurance cover coronavirus care?
- Is the coronavirus vaccine covered by my health insurance?
- If I need health insurance, where can I purchase coverage?
- What can I do if I am laid off from my job?
- What is the right type of health insurance to purchase?
- Who can I contact if I need to be tested for COVID-19?
More information will be added and updated since this is a developing story.
The coronavirus pandemic has spread throughout the U.S. and is currently impacting our economy, as well as our healthcare system, negatively. With all of this uncertainty, Congress has been able to pass the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, to provide needed relief and clarity in regard to our financial institutions and health insurance.
Question: Will my health insurance cover coronavirus care?
Answer: Under the CARES Act, a group health plan and any health insurer offering group or individual coverage will provide coverage and will not impose any cost sharing — deductibles, copayments or coinsurance — requirements for items and services needed to combat COVID-19.
In addition, the CARES Act specifies that any further preventative services for coronavirus are required to be offered and covered by providers of group or individual health insurance policies. This can include items, antibody tests, services and immunizations that are intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Question: Is the coronavirus vaccine covered by my health insurance?
Answer: For the duration of the current public health emergency, the COVID-19 vaccine has no costs regardless of your insurance carrier or if you have coverage at all. Vaccine providers and distributors may charge an administration fee for delivering the shot, but this cost can be reimbursed by your insurance provider or the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. This initiative was created to remove financial barriers that may prevent people from obtaining the vaccine. However, the vaccination costs could change post-pandemic.
Question: If I need health insurance, where can I purchase coverage?
Answer: If you are currently uninsured, there are still opportunities to enroll in a health insurance plan. For the 2021 plan year, you can apply for marketplace coverage through HealthCare.gov up until August 15th. The deadline has primarily been extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, if you live in a state that operates their own health insurance marketplace you may have different enrollment periods available. Below we have outlined those state-based-exchange dates:
|California||May 15th, 2021|
|Colorado||May 15th, 2021|
|Connecticut||April 15th, 2021|
|Idaho||March 31st, 2021|
|Maryland||May 15th, 2021|
|Massachusetts||March 23rd, 2021|
|New York||May 15th, 2021|
|Rhode Island||No extension|
|Vermont||May 14th, 2021|
|Washington||May 15th, 2021|
Those who missed the open enrollment period can make changes to their coverage if they qualify for a life event change, including marriage, job loss or becoming a U.S. citizen.
Question: What can I do if I am laid off from my job?
Answer: If you were laid off from your job, then we suggest reaching out to your previous employer to see if they are continuing your health insurance benefits. Many employers, such as Macy's and Gap, have let employees go but continue to support them through job-based health plans.
If your employer is not offering benefits anymore, then you may no longer have health insurance coverage. In this case, you will gain access to a special enrollment period (SEP) during which you would be able to purchase an individual health insurance plan. Your state marketplace can be found through the HealthCare.gov website. Here you can see if you qualify for the enrollment period and then select the plan that you wish to purchase.
If you fall behind on your health insurance payments and find yourself unable to pay your premium, your policy will likely be cancelled. But before insurers decide to end your plan, they usually provide a 90-day grace period for you to pay any outstanding bills.
What is the right type of health insurance to purchase?
Answer: Finding health insurance that offers full coverage is the best health insurance policy that you can purchase. This is insurance that provides coverage for the 10 essential health benefits as defined by the Affordable Care Act, which include:
- Outpatient services
- Emergency services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Mental health and substance abuse care
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative services
- Laboratory services
- Preventative and wellness services
- Pediatric services
There are some health insurance policies, such as short-term health insurance, which may not provide coverage for some of these areas. However, they often have a significantly cheaper monthly premium compared to an individual health plan. Therefore, if you are considering a short-term health policy, you should carefully review the policy details and confirm exactly what will and will not be covered.
Marketplace health insurance plans are broken into four metal tiers — Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum — based on how you share costs with the plan. Silver health insurance plans are good policies to consider since they have modest premiums, as well as average deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.
Below we have provided a list of the cheapest health insurance policies in each state for the Silver metal tier.
Cheapest Silver plan
Monthly cost for a 40-year-old
|Alabama||Blue Cross Select Silver||$509|
|Alaska||Premera Blue Cross Preferred Silver 3000 HSA||$658|
|Arizona||Blue AdvanceHealth Silver - PimaFocus Network||$330|
|Arkansas||Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2021)||$387|
|California||Silver 70 CommunityCare HMO||$325|
|Colorado||KP CO Silver 2500/25||$278|
|Connecticut||Choice Silver Standard POS||$479|
|Delaware||Health Savings Embedded Blue EPO Silver 3450 HSA||$522|
|Florida||Oscar Silver Saver||$408|
|Georgia||CareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver||$416|
|Hawaii||KP HI Silver 4000/45||$467|
|Idaho||CPN North Central Silver 6000||$467|
Question: Who can I contact if I need to be tested for COVID-19?
Answer: If you think you need to be tested for COVID-19, you should begin by reaching out to your doctor. If you currently do not have a primary care physician (PCP), we suggest reaching out to your health insurance company to get more information.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend going immediately to the emergency room, hospital or doctor's office, since you may spread the disease further.
Instead, listen to the instructions of your health care provider, who will confirm if your symptoms warrant being tested, and then tell you to visit a testing center in your state. Below is a list of testing centers in each U.S. state.
Note that these are only some of the many test facilities in your state. For complete lists and additional information regarding testing, we recommend visiting your state's government health website. You can also visit the CDC website, where you can receive testing guidance.
Testing center locations