Update – Feb. 18, 2021
We have updated this blog post with information on new state and Healthcare.gov special open enrollment periods. We have also included information on how health insurance access affects asthma disparities.
Access to health care is an important part of managing asthma and allergy symptoms. But many people – especially Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous Americans – don’t have access to health insurance that would make health care affordable. This contributes to asthma disparities.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010 with the goal to give more people access to health insurance. Between 2010 and 2018, the rate of people without insurance in the U.S. dropped from 18% to 10%. Health care coverage among Black and Hispanic Americans under age 65 improved even more.
Now many people have lost access to health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And the pandemic has affected Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous Americans the most. This can reduce the gains the ACA has made in ensuring more access to health insurance.
Healthcare.gov Special Open Enrollment Period
To help people who do not have or have lost insurance coverage, the U.S. federal government has opened up the health insurance marketplace for a special open enrollment period. You can sign up at Healthcare.gov until May 15.
The District of Columbia and 14 states also run their own state-based insurance exchanges. All of these states have also opened up their health care exchanges for a special open enrollment period.
Anyone without health insurance can sign up for coverage during these special open enrollment periods. If you lose health insurance coverage after these dates due to a certain life event, you may still qualify for federal or state coverage. These events may include getting married, getting divorced, having or adopting a child, or losing a job that provided health insurance.
States With Special Open Enrollment Periods
If you need insurance, you can enroll in the following states:
- California – deadline May 15
- Colorado – deadline May 15
- Connecticut – deadline May 15
- District of Columbia – open indefinitely
- Idaho – March 1-31
- Maryland – deadline May 15
- Massachusetts – deadline May 23
- Minnesota – deadline May 17
- Nevada – deadline May 15
- New Jersey – deadline May 15
- New York – deadline March 31
- Pennsylvania – deadline May 15
- Rhode Island – deadline May 15
- Vermont – deadline May 16
- Washington – deadline May 15
Use Our Chatbot to Help You Navigate Health Insurance Open Enrollment
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has a chatbot to help you better understand health insurance. The chatbot is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on AAFA's Facebook page. Simply use Facebook Messenger to start chatting.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know
- The COVID-19 Vaccine: The Latest Information for People With Asthma and Allergies
- Protecting Your Hands From Eczema During Coronavirus and Flu Outbreaks
- Please Don’t Stop Taking Your Asthma Medicines Due to the Coronavirus – a guest blog post from Dr. Mitchell Grayson
- Why Healthy Indoor Air Quality Is Important When Spending More Time Indoors Due to COVID-19
- What People With Asthma Need to Know About Face Masks and Coverings During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Managing Asthma at School During the COVID-19 Pandemic – AAFA’s COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools
- COVID-19 Guidelines for Schools and the Impact on Kids With Food Allergies