Governor Evers, Commissioner Afable, and Secretary-Designee Palm Urge Wisconsinites to Shop for Health Plans Available during Open Enrollment
Madison, Wis. — Governor Tony Evers, Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable, and Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm today urged Wisconsin residents who need health coverage to explore options available through the health insurance marketplace during open enrollment.
Open enrollment – the annual period in which people can enroll in a health insurance plan through the federal marketplace (HealthCare.gov) – began November 1 and continues through December 15, 2020. Those who already have insurance through the marketplace can also renew, change, or update their plans during this period. Coverage begins on January 1, 2021.
“Now more than ever, everyone deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare," Evers said. “Health insurance can help protect you against high medical costs and help you stay healthy for your loved ones. That is why I urge folks to shop around on the marketplace this year and take advantage of lower insurance rates."
“Approximately 85% of Wisconsinites who enrolled in a HealthCare.gov plan last year qualified for financial help to lower their monthly payment," Afable said. “If you need health insurance, there are low-cost plans available that cover doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital stays, and more. If you need help finding a plan that fits your budget, free assistance is available through Wisconsin nonprofits. Just call the 2-1-1 helpline or visit WisCovered.com to find help today."
“Wisconsinites deserve not only access to affordable, high-quality health care, but also an understanding of all the options available to ensure they get the best plan for themselves and their families," said Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Whether it's through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace or BadgerCare Plus, we want everyone to know what coverage they are eligible for, and that they can get help enrolling. We urge all residents to take advantage of these resources during the open enrollment period. "
Many Wisconsinites will benefit from lower rates and more insurance options in 2021. Rates on the individual market, which include plans available on Healthcare.gov, will be 3.4 percent lower in 2021 on average than rates in 2020. Nearly two dozen counties will see an expansion of insurers.
This year, the Evers administration is partnering with stakeholders from across Wisconsin to help connect residents with free, expert help that can make it easy to sign up for health insurance during open enrollment. This public-private partnership was organized through the governor's Health Care Coverage Partnership initiative and includes representatives from different health care and insurance providers, as well as consumer, government, and community organizations.
As part of that effort, the Wisconsin Office of Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) and Gov. Evers launched WisCovered.com as an online resource for consumers. Available in English, Spanish, and Hmong, WisCovered helps put people in touch with assistance via phone from organizations like Covering Wisconsin and the United Way's 2-1-1 helpline. These experts can help families understand their coverage options and determine if they qualify for free coverage through BadgerCare or help paying for their premium with an individual plan from HealthCare.gov.
Stakeholders who would like to promote these resources are encouraged to visit OCI's open enrollment digital toolkit, which features draft social media posts and graphics, press release templates, email signatures, flyers, and public service announcements from Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Many materials are available in Spanish and Hmong as well as English. The public is also encouraged to follow OCI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information about open enrollment, including events like an upcoming Facebook live event with OCI and DHS on Wednesday, November 11 at 2:00 pm.