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Deadline Approaches for Special ACA Health-Insurance Enrollment

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Monday, August 9, 2021   

AUSTIN, Texas - One week remains before the window closes for Texans to take advantage of a special enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act.

The Biden administration's 2021 Special Enrollment Period for ACA health insurance began in February and ends on Monday, August 15.

Notable subsidies were made available for the six-month period, to encourage more people to get health coverage during the pandemic.

Lisa Rodriguez, manager of Outreach and Advocacy for AARP Texas, said 20% of the state's population - or five-million people - live without health insurance, typically due to affordability or accessibility.

"So, if you looked before and it was too expensive," said Rodriguez, "it may be affordable this go-around, again, because of subsidies that were made available by the American Rescue Plan. "

Through mid-July, more than two million Americans had signed up for insurance through the ACA during the one-off enrollment period, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

The special six month window was created to help people who lost health insurance due to a job loss in the pandemic. More information is online at 'healthcare.gov' or 'cuidadodesalud.gov.'

Rodriguez said it's an especially good time for older adults who are pre-Medicare, ages 50 to 64, to learn more about what's available through the ACA. In Texas, that includes many groups affected by racial and ethnic coverage disparities.

"So these folks, maybe they're in a job transition or they just don't have insurance for whatever reason," said Rodriguez. "We see that when you look at different groups - like Hispanic/Latinos, Asian Americans and Black adults - they have a high percentage, in comparison to their white peers, of not having insurance."

New subsidy rules are expected to decrease monthly premiums by an average of $50 a month and $85 per policy, per month, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Rodriguez said some people many end up paying no insurance premium, while others could save up to thousands of dollars a year.



Disclosure: AARP Texas contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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