Skip to main content

Update – Feb. 18, 2021

We have updated this blog post with information on new state and 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.


Read more about asthma disparities in the Asthma and Allergy Foundation's (AAFA) "Asthma Disparities in America" report. Click graphic for a larger view.

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. 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 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:

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.

Want to know more about COVID-19 and what it means for people with asthma and allergies? Check out these resources from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:


Images (1)
  • asthma-disparities-impact-of-ACA-infographic-full

Add Comment

Comments (8)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

Hi Mehgan! Welcome to the AAFA forums! 

If their office is closed, can you email them and express your concerns? I know for us, many appts and procedures that we had scheduled have been canceled. 

Melissa G
I get allergy shots to help prevent my asthma from triggering . But my
allergy/asthma Dr is closed right now . So how do I get my shot

On Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 1:54 PM Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America <> wrote:
Link copied to your clipboard.