Free Assistance Available To Monroe County Residents For Special Enrollment Period And Medicaid Unwinding

(Monroe County, Fla) – The annual Open Enrollment Period for healthcare insurance applications ended on January 15, 2023, and now we are in the Special Enrollment Period, where people can still quality to enroll in a health plan.  Qualifications for the Special Enrollment Period include getting married, having a baby, change in immigration status, getting out of jail, moving and loss of coverage, and more. For most events, there is a 60-day window before and after to qualify.

This year, there’s a new qualifying event:  Medicaid Unwinding.

At the start of the Pandemic Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which included a requirement that all Medicaid programs were to keep people continuously enrolled throughout the Pandemic. However, this continuous coverage ended on March 31, 2023 and millions of people are now at risk of losing their benefits.

If someone currently has Medicaid, CHIP or KidCare, they will receive a notification within the next 12 months.  To be sure this notification is received people should update their contact information with DCF and then watch the mail. People must respond in a timely manner, or they could lose their coverage.

Free assistance for Monroe County residents is available.

“I’m here to help so you don’t lose coverage during the Unwinding.” says Carolyn Thomson, ACA Federally Certified Navigator with the Health Insurance Navigation Program at Epilepsy Alliance Florida.  “I can help review your notification and reapply if needed, or, if you have been determined ineligible for Medicaid, I can help with an application to see if you qualify for a Marketplace plan.”

Carolyn is available in person at the Gato Building at 1100 Simonton Street in Key West on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Carolyn is also available for phone appointments.  People should call 877-553-7453 for an appointment.

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County (DOH-Monroe) encourages everyone without health insurance to take advantage of the free assistance available in our community during the Special Enrollment Period.

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