The enrollment period, which runs from today through April 30, applies to people who previously declined group health insurance coverage through their employer, the Chicago-based insurer, which owns Blue Cross plans in five states, announced today. It does not extend to self-insured employer plans, in which employers bear the cost of claims.
Boosting the ranks of insured people ultimately means more money for hospitals as they treat an onslaught of patients, some of whom won't be able to pay for care.
In addition to letting people who qualify sign up for coverage, HCSC's special enrollment period enables existing members to add an eligible spouse or dependent to their plan, the statement says.
The news comes after the Trump administration said it would not authorize a special enrollment period for people to get health insurance under Obamacare amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reports.
Unlike New York and Washington, which run their own health insurance marketplaces, Illinois and the other 31 states that use the federal government's marketplace can't reopen without approval from the CMS.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Wednesday said he and other leaders are asking the federal government to consider opening a special enrollment period to "expand health care access to Americans during this period of unprecedented health challenges."
People who lose their job-based insurance, regardless of where they live, qualify to sign up for Affordable Care Act plans outside of open enrollment in the fall.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain's Chicago Business.