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7 UpFront: Examing COVID-19's impact on insurance

Millions are losing their health insurance amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Posted at 6:38 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 19:31:30-05

(WXYZ) — There are several things many families have had to place on the back burner as a result of the financial impact of COVID-19 - including insurance.

We're examining the issue on tonight's 7 UpFront segment with Anita Fox, the Director of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"We saw an increase of an estimated 46% of Michiganders lose their insurance during the early days of the pandemic, their health insurance, which is especially troubling during a health crisis," Fox says. "The good news is that we're in the process of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, where residents can take a look at what their options are from now until December 15th. So there's just about another week left and we learned from last year's enrollment that more than 80% of Michiganders were entitled to some kind of subsidy or tax credit that meant they would get either low cost or no cost coverage."

"When you lose your job and then lose your insurance, you then have 60 days to replace your insurance. If you haven't done that, or you're newly uninsured you have until December 15th to go to Michigan.Gov/HealthInsurance," she says. "You'll be able to go in through there, you can do a no-commitment look around. It will tell you how much tax credits you get, how much subsidies you can have, what are your options. And the great thing about those plans, we know their comprehensive plans, they cover vaccinations, preventative care, the kind of essential care you need to keep your family safe. So, these are great options for people who have lost their insurance, people who were previously uninsured."

"You're going to have health care costs if your family gets sick or injured, whether or not you have insurance," Fox says. "If you have insurance, you have a way to make sure your family is protected and you get the care you need. You can also get your family preventative care to avoid some of those illnesses or get COVID testing, or vaccines, or the things that you need to stay safe during this pandemic. And people should not be afraid that it's too expensive because there are lots of options."