Health Insurance

Headline:

On June 18, 2022, the CDC authorized COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months through 5 years of age, expanding eligibility to nearly 20 million additional children.

Last-reviewed: 9am, June 23, 2022

Key Resources:

The Basics

  • Special enrollment is open for households who make less than 150% of the federal poverty level through healthcare.gov.
  • The federal public health emergency was extended on April 16, 2022 and can be renewed in 90 days. States must provide continuous coverage to Medicaid customers while this emergency declaration is effective.
  • A third round of eight free at-home COVID-19 tests are available by request here.
  • Open enrollment has ended. Check HealthCare.gov (CuidadodeSalud.gov)for special enrollment options.
  • 988, the mental health version of 911, is set to launch nationwide on July 16. Find more information here.
  • COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available to anyone over the age of 5, and the CDC now recommends COVID-19 vaccines for children older than 6 months.
    • Second boosters are approved for people over the age of 50 whose first booster was at least 4 months ago. People over 18 who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a booster at least 4 months ago are also eligible for a second booster.
  • On June 18, 2022, the CDC authorized both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for children 6 months through 5 years of age. Read more here.

The Breakdown

  • Healthcare.gov is launching a new program to permit people who missed signing up for 2022 Affordable Care Act coverage during open enrollment. The program is expected to run through December 31, 2022.
    • Some states with their own health insurance marketplaces can opt to run special enrollment periods for low-income residents.
  • The federal public health emergency was extended on April 16, 2022. While there is a public health emergency, Medicaid coverage must be continuously provided to customers
  • Other special enrollment options are available if people have experienced certain life changes, such as marriage, moving, or loss of health insurance coverage.
  • The US Health Resources and Services Administration has launched a Maternal Mental Health Hotline for expecting and new moms experiencing mental health challenges.  The confidential, toll-free hotline is accessible by phone or text at 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746) in English and Spanish.
  • Vaccines are widely available to everyone over the age of 6 months.
    • Search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a vaccine location near you. 
  • The CDC recommends COVID-19 booster shots for people who received their primary vaccine series and are age 5 or older.
  • Second boosters are available to people:
    • over the age of 50 whose first booster was at least 4 months ago,
    • over the age of 18 who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and booster, or
    • over the age of 12 and are moderately or severely immunocompromised. 
  • For more booster information, visit the CDC’s website.
  • All ACA plans are required to cover COVID-19 emergency services and hospitalization. Plans cannot terminate coverage due to a change in health status, including diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s COVID-19 website for information about COVID-19, vaccine safety, trends in racial and ethnic disparities, and other information.

The Bottom Line

  • Free COVID-19 test kits are available.
  • Open enrollment has ended, but special enrollment is available to eligible applicants. 
  • All ACA plans cover COVID-19 care.
  • People without insurance can both get tested for COVID-19 and people ages 6 months and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine for free. Those age 18+ can also receive any booster, and 5-17-year-olds can receive the Pfizer booster at least 5 months after being vaccinated.
  • People on Medicaid can’t be terminated while there is a federal public health emergency in effect.