As part of the Biden administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has reopened the health insurance marketplace. By extending the health insurance enrollment period, they are hoping to encourage more people to purchase life-saving health coverage as we continue to face a public health crisis.
The federal marketplace will be open from February 15-May 15, 2021. Most states use the federal marketplace to manage the insurance process, while some run their own insurance marketplace. All state-run markets have also reopened, and most are matching the federal deadline of May 15. States that do not match the federal deadline are:
Connecticut: Open through March 15
D.C.: Open until the end of the pandemic
Idaho: Open March 1-March 31
Massachusetts: Open through May 23
Minnesota: Open through May 17
New York: Open through March 31
Vermont: Open through May 14
An estimated 31 million people were uninsured at the end of 2020, up 10% from the previous year.
It's a hard fact that the biggest barrier for individuals to buy their own health insurance under the marketplace system is the cost. All people whose income falls below 400% of the federal poverty level ($51,040 for an individual; $104,800 for a family of four) qualify for a tax credit to reduce the cost of their monthly premium payments. For individuals under 30, a low-cost “catastrophic” plan is available with much lower premiums, but higher costs for care. In New York, low- or no-cost Essential plans are a great option for those whose income falls just above the Medicaid threshold ($17,237-$24,980).
If you are able, it is crucial that you secure health insurance coverage as soon as possible. Shop hand-picked plans on our national benefits platform; when you purchase coverage through Freelancers Union, we receive a small fee that helps us do our work all year round, at no extra cost to you. Health care for you, advocacy for all freelancers. That’s a win-win.