As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, people have until Sunday to save money on their current health insurance or sign up through the marketplace as part of a special enrollment period.
"We're talking about $0 to $10 plans in terms of monthly premiums, maybe up to $40 depending again on income, so very low-cost plans. These are more affordable plans than we've ever really seen being provided," said Justin Rivas, director of community health initiatives for the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership.
MHCP is a group made up of the area's major hospital systems, government entities, and federally qualified health centers. Rivas added that costs vary depending on income and status, but there is an additional savings for people who were on unemployment in 2021.
"Folks that have been on unemployment can qualify, at least for the rest of the year, for $0 plans," Rivas said.
It is important to note that while these plans come with more savings on monthly premiums and premium tax credit, the deductible structure does not change significantly.
According to the state's Office of Commissioner of Insurance, more than 25,000 Wisconsinites got covered during this period with 25 percent of new enrollees found a plan for $10 or less. Plus, returning Wisconsin consumers are saving an average of 42 percent.
"I do believe the biggest hurdle is just individuals potentially just not being aware," said Quentella Perry, a licensed health insurance navigator for the non-profit Covering Wisconsin.
Perry works with people one-on-one to make sense of it all and find the best coverage plan for their families.
Perry and others who work in this field say the topic of health insurance, the moving parts around it, along with the pandemic, can turn people off from getting coverage.
"We have the housing crisis. We have food crises that are going on, and then individuals who have lost their jobs," Perry said. "So individuals are probably experiencing a lot of different, other factors."
Rivas and Perry are strongly encouraging people to reach out to 2-1-1 or visit healthymke.com to tap into free resources and expert advice that are available this weekend.
If you miss the deadline, the next enrollment period opens up on Nov. 1.