Feb. 2—Iowans will have another opportunity to sign up for health care coverage through the federal marketplace later this month.
Late last month, President
The enrollment period will be open
"The Iowa Insurance Division encourages any Iowans who need health coverage to look at the options available on healthcare.gov during the upcoming ACA special enrollment period," Iowa Insurance Commissioner
It's hard to predict who may take advantage of this new special enrollment period, Ommen said. Individuals would already qualify for ACA enrollment any time of the year in the event of job loss and other life changing circumstances.
Ommen guessed those who are most likely among the consumers to take advantage of the enrollment period are those who planned to sign up through the individual market, but didn't enroll during the initial sign up period.
More than 59,200 Iowans enrolled in the individual marketplace during ACA open enrollment late last year, according to the Iowa Insurance Division.
Enrollment increased from the year before, when nearly 54,600 Iowans signed up for individual health coverage, according to data from the
The number of Iowans has been steadily increasing since 2014, when roughly 29,000 Iowans had enrolled for individual health insurance, but a number of factors either directly or indirectly related to the COVID-19 pandemic may have driven more people to buy health insurance who otherwise wouldn't.
The economy or job loss may have contributed to the increased enrollment nationwide this year, but may not have been as big a driving factor in
Instead, the risks posed by the virus may have increased awareness among consumers about the importance of health insurance, should the inevitable take place.
As the virus has sickened and hospitalized thousands of Iowans young and old, Ommen said younger, healthier individuals who typically would go uninsured may have opted to enroll after seeing the pandemic's impact.
"This increase in enrollment could be due to the recognition that hospitalization is not inexpensive," Ommen said.
Other industries have seen similar trends. Life insurance companies nationwide have reported double-digit increases in the number of policies sold during the pandemic when compared to last year, particularly among younger consumers.
Iowans interested in signing up for individual health coverage call 1-800-318-2596 or visit healthcare.gov for information on enrollment.
Iowa Navigator, the state's only insurance navigator, is also available for free to aid residents as they enroll for coverage. They can be reached by calling (515) 978-9570 to reserve a telephone appointment for enrollment assistance. More information is also available at www.acanavigator.com.
Residents can also find local insurance agents and others who can assist with enrollment by visiting https://localhelp.HealthCare.gov/.
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