Counties Seek To Inform Newly Married Couples About Health Exchange Enrollment Eligibility

Under Affordable Care Act, Married Couples Have Special 60-Day Enrollment Period

A marriage ceremony in the state Capitol, a popular site for many couples in the Dane County area to get married. Photo: Adam Fagen (CC-BY-NC-SA).

Wisconsin’s two largest counties are reaching out to newly married couples about their eligibility to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

July and August are popular months for weddings — Dane County issued more than 400 licenses last month alone. County Clerk Scott McDonell said he wants to let young couples know that marriage is one of the “life events” that makes them eligible to sign up for new insurance through the Affordable Care Act. There’s a 60-day window after their marriage for couples to enroll in a health plan on the marketplace.

“We have 3,000 couples that come here each year,” said McDonell. “Many of them are younger, which is a target audience for signing up for the Affordable Care Act.”

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U.S. Health and Human Services regional director Kathleen Falk joined McDonell for the announcement. She pointed out that young couples are prime candidates to be new enrollees.

“We know that the largest number of uninsured in our nation, and right here in Dane County, are young people between the ages of 19 and 35 — and who’s also most likely to be getting married are young people.”

Falk said Milwaukee County began a similar campaign a few weeks ago.

“Dane County is now the second county in the state, so now the two largest counties are doing this,” said Falk. “Between the two of them, they will reach about 8,000 couples a year. And I hope that all 70 other counties will be able to do the same thing soon.”

Couples will receive the new health insurance information in packets that include other things they might want to know, like how to file for a name change.

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