#GetCovered2021: Health Leaders, Patient Advocates, Governors & Stars from across the country unite to urge people to wear a mask & sign up for healthcare coverage

  • “Get Covered America Day” — Dec. 10 — is a call to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and a public statement that you want your family and friends to get health insurance.
  • With COVID-19 cases surging nationally, the day is a call to action to encourage people to post a picture of themselves wearing a mask on social media, include a personal message about the importance of being COVID-safe and how friends, family and neighbors can get financial help for insurance now, sharing the website GetCovered2021.org and using the hashtag #GetCovered2021.
  • With an estimated 16 million uninsured Americans eligible for financial help — through their Affordable Care Act marketplace, or free coverage through Medicaid — Get Covered 2021 encourages people to check their health care options and get insured.
  • The Get Covered 2021 coalition includes a diverse array of health and patient advocacy organizations, states, and celebrity and athletic ambassadors using their unique platforms to educate and encourage Americans across the country to get covered — with over 40 million Americans already touched by social media messages.
  • In the face of the worst economy and a health care crisis, marketplaces that use HealthCare.gov are on track to sign up an estimated 1.8 million fewer new consumers in 2021, compared to the 2016 open-enrollment period, which was the last year efforts to promote enrollment in the marketplaces were not rolled back by the current presidential administration.

WASHINGTON DC, SACRAMENTO, CA AND FRANKFORT, KY — With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to surge across America, a broad coalition of states, consumer and patient groups, health care providers, and celebrity ambassadors from across the country — known as Get Covered 2021 — joined together on Wednesday to preview tomorrow’s “Get Covered America Day.”

The national initiative is a call to action, urging people to stay home, wear a mask, support health care heroes andhelp 16 million uninsured Americans sign up for a quality health insurance plan to fight the ongoing pandemic. With the unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases nationwide, the need to act has never been greater.

“The pandemic highlights the need for comprehensive, high-quality, and affordable health care coverage, and right now millions of uninsured Americans are eligible for financial help that allows them to sign up for a plan that can cost less than $10 per month,” said Get Covered America co-chair, Josh Peck. “We are in the final week of open enrollment for states that use HealthCare.gov, so it’s very important for people to go online, check out their options and sign up for coverage by Dec.15.”

Get Covered America Day is Thursday, Dec. 10, and the national initiative will continue through the open-enrollment period and into the new year. The initiative is supported by national health leaders, health care providers, celebrities and a bipartisan array of elected officials committed to raising awareness about the need for COVID-safe practices and the link between health and coverage. These groups and individuals are getting the message out that financial help is available for millions of Americans to make coverage affordable, through social media by sharing the websiteGetCovered2021.org (where consumers can be linked directly to enrollment help) and using the hashtag #GetCovered2021.

Get Covered 2021 is co-chaired by Get America Covered co-founder Josh Peck, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Deputy Secretary Carrie Banahan, and Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee.

“When the worst health care crisis in more than a century is unfolding around us, you do not want to be without quality health care coverage,” said Lee. “Open enrollment is underway right now, and that means now is the time to visit GetCovered2021.org to see whether you qualify for financial help and what options are available for you.”

The most recent data shows that of the 28 million Americans currently uninsured, more than half of them — 16 million — are eligible for financial help to pay for their health insurance costs or for free coverage through Medicaid. The financial help significantly reduces their monthly premiums, which means that two out of three consumers can get a plan for $10 per month or less.

“The pandemic has shown us how important it is to have quality health care coverage, and coverage is much more affordable than people think,” Banahan said. “Millions of people qualify for plans that cost them less than a cup of coffee per month, so let’s get covered and mask up to ensure Americans have the health care they need when they need it the most.”

New analysis of data released recently by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services covering the states served by HealthCare.gov indicates that, with this reduced spending, marketplaces that use HealthCare.gov are on track to sign up an estimated 1.8 million fewer new consumers in 2021 compared to the 2016 open-enrollment period, which is the last year efforts to promote enrollment in the marketplaces were not rolled back. Upon taking office, the current administration reduced marketing for the 2017 open-enrollment period and has since reduced spending to promote enrollment to almost nothing.

“During the worst health care crisis of our generation and with millions losing insurance coverage due to the bad economy, doing promotion and outreach is the right thing to do and sound public health policy,” said Lee. “Millions of Americans who otherwise would not know they had affordable insurance options will hear about getting covered from their personal doctor and other trusted sources because of the Get Covered 2021 effort.”

Consumers should sign up by Dec. 15 in order to have coverage that begins on Jan. 1, 2021.

Get Covered 2021 includes America’s top health and patient advocacy organizations including the American Public Health Association, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, America’s Physician Groups, American Cancer Society, Mental Health America, National Hispanic Medical Association, the Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Teachers, National Association of Community Health Centers and many more, along with 15 states, the District of Columbia and Get Covered America.

The coalition also includes a diverse array of celebrity and athlete ambassadors, including AJ Andrews, Odell Beckham Jr., Beth Behrs, Tanner Buchanan, Caron Butler, Shilique Calhoun, Charlie Carver, Max Carver, Freddy Galvis, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Hamill, Ken Jeong, George Lopez, Danielle Macdonald, Angel McCoughtry, Alyssa Milano, Bill Pullman, CC Sabathia, Sarah Silverman, George Takei and Bradley Whitford. Ambassadors will provide their support using their unique platforms in the coming months to educate and encourage people across the country to get covered. A full coalition list is available at GetCovered2021.org.

“But it’s not only about COVID,” Milano said. “There are 88,000 Americans that are uninsured and living with cancer, and 1.7 million uninsured living with diabetes. This has to stop now. So, join me in wearing a mask to stay healthy and getting the word out that affordable health insurance coverage is available right now for millions of Americans.”

The organizations and individuals who endorse Get Covered America Day are committed to ensuring Americans have coverage that keeps them safe, healthy and strong. The commitment recognizes that fight against the COVID pandemic is critical to moving forward together as a nation.

A bipartisan collection of states has already issued proclamations declaring Dec.10 Get Covered America Day, recognizing the severity of the crisis we face and encouraging their citizens to protect themselves and their friends through safe COVID practices and enrolling in health insurance. For a complete list of proclamations and statements, click here.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Americans from all walks of life and serves as a critical reminder of the need to stay healthy and to make sure you’re receiving the best health care possible,” said Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland. “Unfortunately, many in our state may not be receiving the health care that they need due to a lack of health insurance. On this Get Covered America Day, let’s do our part. Make sure you get coverage by visitingMarylandHealthConnection.gov or GetCovered2021.org.”

“Coverage matters,” said Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky. “It provides treatment for cancer, diabetes and more, and with the rise of coronavirus cases across the Commonwealth and our country, there has never been a more important time than now to ensure quality health coverage for all.”

The Get Covered 2021 initiative will continue into the new year because while much of the nation ends open enrollment on Dec. 15, many state-based marketplaces, like California, are open into the month of January, and Medicaid programs are open every day of the year for enrollment.

“We are so thankful that so many leaders and influencers across the country have answered the call to fight this pandemic and ensure that people have the health care coverage they need,” Peck said. “We have partnered with some of the most important health and patient advocacy organizations in the country who will be carrying our message to millions of people across the nation to encourage them to wear masks and get covered.”