2021 SEP provides access to health insurance coverage during the pandemic

In accordance with the Executive Order issued last week by President Biden, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families for Marketplace coverage in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which has left millions of Americans facing uncertainty and exceptional circumstances while millions of Americans have experienced new health problems during the pandemic. This SEP will allow individuals and families in states with Marketplaces served by the HealthCare.gov platform to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage. Beginning February 15, 2021 and through May 15, 2021, the Marketplace will make this SEP available to all Marketplace-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application.

"The Department is committed to ensuring that we deploy every available resource during the Public Health Emergency. This Special Enrollment Period will ensure that more individuals and families have access to quality, affordable health coverage during this unprecedented time," said HHS Acting Secretary Norris Cochran.

The SEP will be offered to consumers applying for new coverage or updating an existing application through HealthCare.gov, the Marketplace call center, or through local direct enrollment channels such as The Hughes Agency which operates in both North Carolina and Virginia and offers free enrollment assistance.  Coverage is prospective, with coverage beginning the first day of the month following the date of plan selection.

Starting February 15, all Currituck and Dare county residents, as well as all Virginia residents who are seeking to take advantage of the new SEP can obtain free guidance and enrollment assistance by contacting The Hughes Agency at 252-599-3832 in North Carolina or 757-356-1200 in Virginia.