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2021 Special Enrollment Period in response to the COVID-19 Emergency

With COVID-19 causing health and financial uncertainty for millions of Americans, a Special Enrollment Period has been initiated by President Joe Biden’s recent executive order. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is offering an extended window of enrollment for healthcare coverage to those who need it, especially those who recently lost their jobs and are no longer covered by employer-provided healthcare.

Starting Feb. 15, Marketplaces using the HealthCare.gov platform will allow all Marketplace-eligible consumers to submit a new application or update an existing application or select a different plan than the one in which they are currently enrolled.

“Ascension believes everyone should have access to healthcare coverage, especially those who need it most,” says Shannon Little-Haines, clinical program coordinator for Ascension Via Christi Insurance Navigation. “That’s why we want individuals to be aware of this new special enrollment deadline so they can take the necessary steps to secure the health coverage they need.” 

Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Know the deadline. The Special Enrollment Period begins Friday, Feb. 15, and ends Saturday, May 15. 
  • Gather your information. Before you start the application process, gather the key information you will need to include about yourself and your household. Find the full application checklist at https://www.healthcare.gov/downloads/apply-for-or-renew-coverage.pdf
  • Explore your options and get answers. Compare health plans and prices on HealthCare.gov so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Find answers to frequently asked questions at HealthCare.gov/get-answers.
  • Begin the application process. Visit HealthCare.gov to begin the enrollment process. For help in navigating, contact Ascension Via Christi Insurance Navigators at 316-268-5890. You can also contact the Marketplace Call Center: 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Operators can accommodate your language needs.
  • Get enrollment help near you. Ascension Via Christi Insurance Navigation staff provides enrollment assistance at no cost. These helpful individuals can also find out if you qualify for savings on health coverage. You can also visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to find a person or community group in your area who is trained to assist you in enrolling at no cost to you.


Please note, financial help is available for most people enrolling for health insurance on the marketplace. Contact Ascension Via Christi Insurance Navigators at 316-268-5890.

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