North Carolinians Still Have Time to Receive Health Coverage in the 2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period

Received this important letter to the editor re: the upcoming health insurance marketplace deadline. More than 2 million sign-ups already with the deadline a couple of weeks away now. COVID continues, so too should COVID relief. We need more supportive measures like this, Congress should not let special COVID-related relief expire!

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Throughout the pandemic, health insurance coverage has proven an effective means to protect the health and financial stability of countless North Carolinians. Health plans provided access to the COVID-19 testing and treatment that helped us turn the corner on the COVID-19 crisis, and their continued support of these services is working hard against the spread of new variants.

Now, a crucial deadline for our state is fast approaching. The current 2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period ends on August 15th. We should be encouraging as many North Carolinians as possible to take advantage of this period, secure coverage, and guarantee their access to high quality care as we continue our recovery from the pandemic.

New data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, revealed that over 2 million Americans nationwide signed up for coverage during the 2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period. The success of the special enrollment period thus far demonstrates the strength of the individual market. Further, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 temporarily increased the availability and generosity of the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies, extending them to millions of Americans who did not previously qualify for financial assistance. That means many more of our neighbors still have a chance to enroll in coverage that they can afford.

Health care coverage helps millions of Americans access high quality care, regular doctor visits and prescription medications, mental health care and much more. NC politicians, local leaders, and should encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of the special enrollment period before August 15th. Doing so will help secure a healthier future for our state.

Ryan Byrley
Raleigh, NC

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