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Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment

Frequently Asked Questions

Dates and deadlines for 2021 health insurance

  • The 2021 Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1 to December 15, 2020.
  • If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2021 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2021.

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

The Health Insurance Marketplace is a way to find and buy health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs. You can compare plans based on price, benefits and other features important to you before you make a choice. With one Marketplace application, you can:

  • Compare plans and apply for health insurance
  • Determine if you qualify for financial assistance
  • Determine if you qualify for Medicaid or FAMIS (Virginia’s health insurance program for children)

Applications may be submitted online, by phone, by mail or in person with the help of a trained counselor or navigator.

What Health Insurance Marketplace plans does VCU Health participate in?

  • Four insurers will offer Marketplace options covering Richmond City and most of the surrounding counties in 2021: Oscar, Anthem, Cigna, and Optima. VCU Health providers, hospitals and facilities have in-network agreements with Anthem, Cigna, and Optima. We are out of network with Oscar. 
  • VCU Health also participates with all out of area Marketplace options from Optima and Piedmont Community Health Plan in Virginia.

What about pre-existing health conditions?

Health insurance companies selling plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace cannot deny you coverage or charge you more due to pre-existing health conditions. They also can’t charge different premiums based on your gender.

Are there cost breaks?

Those who use the Health Insurance Marketplace may be able to get lower costs on their monthly premiums and out-of-pocket fees. Most people who apply will qualify for some kind of savings.

Where can I find more information or get help enrolling?

VCU Health Financial Counseling has trained certified application counselors who are available to assist you with enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Call (804) 828-0966, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to speak to one of our certified application counselors from the convenience and privacy of your home. You can also call the Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.

Other Helpful Resources

  • HealthCare.gov: Get the latest resources and learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • CommonHelp.virginia.gov: The Commonwealth of Virginia's fast and easy way to apply online for the Health Insurance Exchange, Medicaid, and many other social services assistance programs in Virginia.
  • Enroll-Virginia.com: A nonpartisan, community-based effort to educate all Virginians about the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can also call toll free at 1-888-392-5132.