ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With a surge in unemployment and reduced hours due to COVID-19, New Mexico residents who had not previously enrolled in a health care plan may now qualify to enroll. Vice President of Sales at Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico, Randy Shaffer answers questions about who qualifies and how to enroll in health insurance during a special enrollment period.
If you have lost your job-based health plan through your employer or a family member’s employer, or have recently been furloughed, you may qualify for a special enrollment period. It will give people the opportunity to enroll in one of the several health care options including Medicaid, the Health Insurance Marketplace or COBRA.
Qualifying individuals have up to 60 days to enroll in a health plan after a job loss. Coverage can begin as soon as the first of the month after your previous coverage ends.
The Special Enrollment Period isn’t new and is an available option for those experiencing a layoff or reduction in hours who no longer have an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. All that is needed is proof of a qualifying event such as a job loss or decrease of hours.
Qualifying life events for the special enrollment period also include getting married, having or adopting a child, or moving outside an insurer’s coverage area. Depending on your income, you may also qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). There is no Special Enrollment Period for those government-provided coverage options as you can apply at any time.
To sign up for an insurance plan visit BCBSNM.com.