GIFTS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE HEALTH INSURANCE QUICKLY

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About 13 million uninsured people in theU.S. are eligible for free health insurance plans. They've two weeks left to apply. 
 
 Free healthinsurance.However, please hear up, If you're uninsured or you've been on severance benefits this time. There is new fiscal help passed by Congress before this time that means you might be eligible for health plans with zero- yea,$ 0 decorations. As of moment, there are two weeks left to enroll during the epidemic special registration period, so we have brought in NPR health policy pressman Selena Simmons-Duffin to explain. Hello, Selena. 
SELENA SIMMONS-DUFFIN, BYLINE Hi, Lulu. 
 
 GARCIA-NAVARRO Each right. I got to tell you free health insurance does not sound like a real thing. How is it indeed possible? 
SIMMONS-DUFFIN I know, right? But it completely is a real thing. So the free health plans come in a couple different flavors. There's Medicaid, which is the state civil public plan for low- income people. Also there is the Affordable Care Act exchanges onhealthcare.gov-there are free citation plans. That is the smallest league of plans. They might be available with$ 0 decorations, depending on your income. And now there is also some new effects available because of the COVID relief package that passed before this time, including a whole new order of free plans that is only available as of this once July. So if you have been on severance at any point this time, you might qualify for a veritably comprehensive tableware plan through the end of 2021. 
 
 GARCIA-NAVARRO Each right. So we know there are around 29 million uninsured people, still, in the United States. How numerous of them qualify for one of those plans? 
SIMMONS-DUFFIN Nearly half. 
 
 GARCIA-NAVARRO Ooh. 
SIMMONS-DUFFIN So the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation estimates about 13 million people who are uninsured qualify for$ 0 decoration plans. 
 
 GARCIA-NAVARRO So this is really news you can use. 
SIMMONS-DUFFIN Yeah. 
 
 GARCIA-NAVARRO But free plans might mean not veritably good plans. I mean, we have heard about these lower- league plans maybe not being the stylish, you know, quality. How much do these actually cover? 
SIMMONS-DUFFIN So further than you might suppose. Preliminarily, citation plans with$ 0 decorations might have had, like,$ deductibles. And that would scarify people off from subscribing up. But another thing that is new then's there is new cost- participating help for low- income people. Then is Cynthia Cox. She's the director of the program on the ACA at the Kaiser Family Foundation. 
 CYNTHIA COX You can get zero decoration and conceivably indeed zero deductible or perhaps a$ 100 or$ 200 deductible. But that is the stylish type of plan that you can indeed get in theU.S., and really in a lot of other countries too, you know, because this is a really good deal. 
 
 SIMMONS-DUFFIN I have been talking to people around the country that have enrolled in some of these free plans, including Deborah Kagan (ph), who just moved to Tampa. She got a free plan onhealthcare.gov because she's been on severance. She was laid off from a contract cabinetwork business last time due to the epidemic. 

 DEBORAH KAGAN I got a plan that costs nothing, and it covers all my medical requirements because my biggest fear was having Type 1 diabetes. Without my drug, I am dead. 
 
 SIMMONS-DUFFIN She's thrilled and relieved and veritably thankful to the shipmen who helped her sign up. Those are people who are trained to give free sign-up help without pushing you a certain way or taking a commission. 

 GARCIA-NAVARRO OK, so if these plans are free and give good content and we know that a lot of people were on severance over the period of this epidemic, why would people not be subscribing up? 
 SIMMONS-DUFFIN So some people are subscribing up. About 2 million new people have enrolled in plans but not 13 million. So this is a big question. It's kind of a head scrape. I have put the question to a lot of people, including Louise Norris. Sheco-owns a health insurance brokerage in Colorado and writes forhealthinsurance.org. And she says occasionally people have had a bad experience or plant the plans were too precious in the history, or perhaps they are bothered their croaker will not take a new plan, or they are not sure what documents they'll need to subscribe up. 

 LOUISE NORRIS There are so numerous little reasons that notoriety might be scrupling. And when you put them all together, you end up with, you know, at least a many million people who are leaving these benefits on the table. And-but I- actually, I would say that presumably the biggest bone is people just do not know what they can get. 
 
 SIMMONS-DUFFIN So the Biden administration has put some muscle into advertising these new plans, but they are going up against times of nearly no outreach during the Trump administration. And there is a lot of misinformation out there, too. 

 GARCIA-NAVARRO Each right. So two weeks to subscribe over-is that what is left? 
 
 SIMMONS-DUFFIN Yeah, that is right. So August 15 is the deadline. Now, I should say there are lots of options beyond just these free plans for low- income people and jobless people, including further fiscal help for high-and middle- income people as well. And now after the special registration period ends, registration opens again in November. The epidemic has meant registration is open nearly the entire time. So there are lots of chances to check out plans and to subscribe up. 

 GARCIA-NAVARRO Don't leave plutocrat on the table. That's what I've always been told. That is NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin. Thank you veritably much. 
 
 SIMMONS-DUFFIN Thank you, Lulu. 

 

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