Group working to expand access to affordable healthcare during pandemic


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) The need for health care services is front and center during the COVID-19 pandemic. One group is working to help people in eastern North Carolina get access to care.

A program at Access East is working to assist those who are out of work or have experienced other financial hardships due to COVID-19.

“We feel like it’s so important for people to have health insurance right now with all this pandemic going on and I think a lot of people don’t realize that if they came in saw us that we could help them get health insurance now,” said Arden Root, Access East.

Usually, if you lose your health insurance, you have a certain time frame to apply for an affordable care act plan.

Yet, a newly issued Federal Emergency Management Act Special Enrollment Period (FEMA SEP) is in place for people who may have missed their original 60-day deadline for health insurance. That means coverage could begin as soon as next month or extend back to the first date of eligibility.

“Our hope is to see a lot of people come in and at least talk to us about the possibility of getting enrolled. People have a tendency to think health insurance is very expensive but a lot of people are surprised when they come in to see us that the cost is much more reasonable,” said Root.

If you haven’t had any SEP qualifying events this year you likely won’t be able to enroll now in an ACA plan. However, you can sign up for next year during this fall’s enrollment period. It runs from November 1st to December 15th.

For more information and ways to contact the Access East staff, click HERE

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