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Short-Term Health Insurance Options for those Affected by COVID-19

A growing number of people across the nation are facing economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. How are insurance companies helping people who need medical care today?

Health Alliance moved swiftly to support members, employers and providers as financial uncertainty has become a reality for many.

If you find yourself without health insurance because you’ve either lost your job or had your hours reduced due to COVID-19, “there are options available during this uncertain time,” Jana Perry, vice president, Health Alliance Strategic Products and Marketing said.

A special enrollment period (SEP) is open through June 30 for Medicare-eligible individuals affected by COVID-19 who were unable to make changes to their existing Medicare plan during the original open enrollment period (Jan. 1- March 31, 2020).

For those whose insurance has been affected by COVID-19, short-term plans are available to help ensure financial protection and peace of mind should health issues arise.

“If you’re turning 65, you’ll likely be eligible for Medicare,” Perry said. “Otherwise, if you know you have a short-term need, Health Alliance offers short-term policies that, in Illinois, cover you up to 180 days,” she said. “They’re not considered Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans so they may not cover all services the marketplace offers but are one option.” For longer-term needs or to see if you qualify for help with your premium, visit

Under short-team plans, testing and treatment for COVID-19 are covered at no cost to patients and telehealth sessions are covered to support those most vulnerable to the pandemic.

Need more reasons to make sure you’re covered? Preventative and early intervention measures, such as annual well-woman visits, physical, screenings, and vaccines, can have a great impact on health in the long haul. Not to mention continuing with chronic health condition management (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc.), which can have drastic consequences and lead to higher healthcare costs in the long run if left unchecked.

“Health Alliance has been working to ensure people here in Illinois can always call and talk to us. We’re also communicating with our employer groups and brokers to make sure they know what options are there too.” You don’t have to be a member to get guidance, Perry said.

For more information about Special Enrollment Periods due to COVID-19-related job loss, getting plans through the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace and more, visit the Illinois Department of Insurance website.