COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for our community, and access to quality health insurance and health care has never been more important. On January 28, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order that re-opened enrollment to the Health Insurance Marketplace and took additional steps to strengthen Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

The Health Insurance Marketplace was reopened for a Special Enrollment Period outside of the usual end-of-year enrollment period or special “life events” which qualify people to enroll at any time. The Marketplace reopened on February 15 and will remain open until May 15, 2021. The Special Enrollment Period is available to consumers in the 36 states served by Marketplaces that use the platform, including Wisconsin.

Find out more or apply online at

There are other local resources that may help you navigate the choices on or provide additional financial assistance or support.

United Way of Dane County's HealthConnect

HealthConnect is available if you need assistance paying your 2021 premiums. United Way of Dane County can help lower-income individuals and families who make too much to be eligible for BadgerCare purchase insurance in the Marketplace via the HealthConnect Premium Assistance Program. Made possible because of donations from UW Health and Quartz, HealthConnect pays the balance of eligible participants’ monthly health insurance premium not covered by the Premium Tax Credit available through the Marketplace.

To be eligible, you must live in Dane County, be a US Citizen or legal resident, enroll in a Marketplace health plan and fall within the below income ranges:

  • Family of 1: $12,760-19,140 per year
  • Family of 2: $17,240-25,860 per year
  • Family of 3: $21,720-32,580 per year
  • Family of 4: $26,200-39,300 per year
  • Families of 5+: see webpage for more information

To learn more or to apply, visit Further questions can be directed to the 211 help line.


Get free, expert help to select and sign up for a health insurance plan. Insurance experts can help you see if you qualify for financial help to lower your monthly costs (and often know where to find the best deals that fit your health needs and budget). You can speak to an expert on the phone, select an online resource below, or find answers to common questions.

To speak with an expert:

  • Call 877-947-2211 anywhere in Wisconsin or 608-261-1455 in Madison.

  • Or, call 211 or visit for more info.

Covering Wisconsin

Like WisCovered, Covering Wisconsin can also help you navigate the healthcare Marketplace through You may be able to get free or low-cost health insurance, and can schedule an appointment for help navigating your choices. Visit for more info or to schedule an appointment online with a local expert.

Internet Access

People without access to computers/internet can call their local library to make an appointment to use the library’s computers to access the web sites above.

For Service Providers

If you are a health care provider, service provider, or work with clients who would benefit from learning more about health insurance options, I urge you to use the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance’s WisCovered Digital Media Toolkit or Covering Wisconsin’s Media Toolkit to share out about this important opportunity to obtain health insurance and assistance navigating health insurance choices.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.

Category: Equity