State of Michigan Officials Applaud Biden Administration Decision to Extend Special Enrollment Period Through August 15

Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779, halll17@michigan.gov
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 24, 2021

(LANSING, MICH) Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita Fox are applauding the Biden administration for extending the current Health Insurance Marketplace special enrollment period through August 15. This decision, along with the increased subsidies included in the American Rescue Plan, will make Marketplace health coverage more affordable and more accessible for Michiganders struggling with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Biden Administration’s decision to extend the special enrollment period for healthcare by three months will help Michiganders get access to quality, affordable coverage in the midst of a pandemic,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am grateful for this decision and I encourage folks to find an affordable plan that works for them on HealthCare.gov and sign up by August 15th. In tandem with the American Rescue Plan, which puts money in pockets and vaccine shots in arms, this move will help working families weather the storm and help us all build back better.”

“We are thankful that the Biden administration has taken this step, which will make health insurance more accessible and more affordable for more Michiganders at a time when they need it the most,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “An estimated 67,000 uninsured Michiganders will now qualify for lower cost coverage, and 16,000 of them should be eligible for no-cost coverage. If you’re unsure how to start taking advantage of these new opportunities, DIFS is here to help through our live call center, by email, or with online resources.”

The Health Insurance Marketplace and application process, available at HealthCare.gov, will be updated on April 1 to reflect both the extended special enrollment period and the newly expanded tax credits from the American Rescue Plan. Michiganders who need new Marketplace health coverage should:

  • Start a Marketplace application by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or by calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325), and select a plan by the end of March so that coverage will start April 1;
  • Return to the Marketplace on or after April 1 to update or confirm pre-populated information on their current application to see new eligibility results, including the expanded tax credit amount;
  • Update their plan selection with the expanded tax credits. These tax credits can lower health coverage premiums for the rest of the year.

Consumers who already have a Marketplace plan are strongly encouraged to log on to the Marketplace and resubmit their application after April 1 to take immediate advantage of the higher subsidies offered under the American Rescue Plan. Individuals who choose not to revisit their application after April 1 must wait until they file their 2021 tax returns in 2022 to get the tax credits for which they qualify, meaning they will not be able to lower their monthly health coverage premiums this year. Consumers should also know that selecting a new plan under this extended special enrollment period may trigger a reset of their annual deductible for 2021.

DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints and can provide information about the Health Insurance Marketplace Special Enrollment Period that is now open through August 15. For more information, including a schedule of upcoming DIFS and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) virtual health insurance town halls, consumers should visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance or call 877-999-6442 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/difs or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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