Care Connection provides help for people navigating Health Insurance Marketplace

People who have been laid off or had their work hours decreased because of the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for a special enrollment period in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Care Connection for Aging Services has licensed navigators who can help individuals figure out whether they qualify for a special enrollment period in the Marketplace health insurance if they have lost employer coverage.

Care Connection does not sell or recommend any particular policy; however, navigators can “walk” individuals through the online application process for Marketplace coverage. To find out more, call 1-800-748-7826 and ask about the Health Insurance Marketplace.

All Marketplace plans cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions and cannot terminate coverage due to a change in health status, including diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.  Marketplace plans can be more affordable because of income tax credits provided to offset the cost of coverage.

You may qualify for a special enrollment period if you lost health coverage through your employer or the employer of a family member in the past 60 days or you expect to lose coverage in the next 60 days.

If you have reduced hours and are on a Marketplace plan, you should update your application within 30 days to report income changes. Lower income might mean more savings on your health insurance.

If you’ve already lost coverage, your Marketplace coverage can start the first of the month after you apply and enroll. If you know you’ll lose coverage within the next 60 days, you can submit an application before you actually lose your coverage to help make sure there’s no gap in coverage.

If you cannot pay your insurance premiums because of a COVID 19-related income loss, check with your insurance company about extending your premium payment deadline or ask if they will delay terminating your coverage.

To receive Care Connection help in navigating the Marketplace, call 1-800-748-7826. To learn more about the marketplace, visit

Care Connection is a non-profit area agency on aging serving 22 locations in 13 Central Missouri counties, including Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, St. Clair and Vernon. The mission is to provide opportunities to create positive aging experiences.