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June 29th 2021

As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) signed by President Biden, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is again lowering the cost of health insurance and opening more pathways for Americans to obtain affordable and comprehensive health coverage. Starting July 1, 2021, consumers who received or are approved to receive unemployment compensation for any week beginning in 2021 may be able to find even lower cost plans and save extra money on out-of-pocket expenses through

To take advantage of these additional savings, consumers who received or have been approved for unemployment compensation in 2021 need to visit to submit a new application or update their existing application to maximize the savings they can get for the rest of 2021. An average of three out of five eligible uninsured Americans can access $0 plans after advance payments of tax credits and an average of four out of five current consumers will be able to find a plan for $10 or less per month after advance payments of tax credits. CMS encourages current consumers who have received unemployment income for any week beginning in 2021 to update their application and enrollment between July 1 and August 15 to maximize the savings on their Marketplace coverage for the rest of the year.

January 28, 2021

President Biden signed an executive order to reopen the federal marketplace selling Affordable Care Act plans.

Key Points

  • The Special Enrollment Period (SEP) will go into effect February 15, 2021, through May 15, 2021, which is when consumers will be able to begin enrolling in plans on

  • The intent of the SEP is to give consumers who need health care coverage during the pandemic the opportunity to sign up. 

  • The executive order directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take action to open a new COVID SEP.  Further guidance from HHS and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is expected as a result with more details.

  • Plan effective dates will be the first of the month following enrollment, and no qualifying special enrollment reason will need to be given.

  • Current members have an opportunity to change their current plan to another marketplace plan as well as add dependents if needed.

  • Enrolling through our agency does NOT affect your monthly premium or subsidy amount.  We are here to assist with enrollment, individual healthcare laws and procedures, and customer service throughout the plan year.

  • Please contact us for more information or to sign up!!  828-318-8762 Susan Morgan /

The BerniePortal connects the fragmented HR ecosystem in a comprehensive all-in-one HR tool, allowing employers to spend less time on administration, and more time building the businesses they love. This button is linked to a PDF document with more information.

March 8, 2020

Effective immediately, Aetna members will have access to the following resources:

Aetna will waive co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This policy will cover the test kit for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing, which can be done in any approved laboratory location. Aetna will waive the member costs associated with diagnostic testing at any authorized location for all Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid lines of business. Self-insured plan sponsors will be able to opt-out of this program at their discretion.


For the next 90 days, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason. Aetna members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices. Cost sharing will be waived for all video visits through the CVS MinuteClinic app, Aetna-covered Teladoc offerings and in-network providers delivering synchronous virtual care (live video-conferencing) for all Commercial plan designs.

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