Arnoldo Garcia gets help from medical assistant, Jasmin Garcia at the Neighborhood Health clinic in Madison. (Photo: John Partipilo)
Tennesseans who collected as little as one week in unemployment insurance in 2021 can now qualify for free — or nearly free — health insurance through the federal healthcare marketplace.
As part of the American Rescue Plan COVID relief package signed into law by President Joe Biden, individuals who received — or are approved to receive — unemployment insurance in any week this year can qualify for cheap or free health insurance beginning July 1. Individuals already enrolled in a plan before they collected unemployment insurance are eligible to switch to another, lower cost plan.
On average, three out of five eligible uninsured Americans can access $0 plans and an average of 4 out of 5 currently enrolled in the federal health insurance marketplace will be able to find a plan for $10 or less per month, according to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
In Tennessee, an average of nearly 47,000 individuals each month had ongoing unemployment insurance claims in 2021.
The deadline to apply is August 15. Tennesseans can go to www.healthcare.gov to sign up. A video tutorial about signing up by the Department of Commerce and Insurance is available here. Consumers can also call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596, which provides assistance multiple languages.
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