Publication Date: 

April 23, 2021 Update: This communication has been updated to include details on the American Rescue Plan Act.

March 30, 2021 Update: This communication has been updated to include the newly extended Special Enrollment Period through August 15, 2021. The previous Special Enrollment Period was February 15, 2021 through May 15, 2021. 

Effective February 15, 2021 through August 15, 2021, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) will participate in a Special Enrollment Period in response to the challenges of COVID-19. This Special Enrollment Period will allow individuals to apply for health insurance coverage. Any individual or family interested in purchasing their own health coverage can enroll during this special enrollment period.  This includes people who are uninsured, under-insured, or already enrolled in a plan and wanting to switch to a different plan. This enrollment period allows for those who missed the open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance to have another opportunity to receive coverage. In addition to this Special Enrollment Period, President Biden signed The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) law. The new law expands financial assistance for more Americans and lowers premiums for 2021 & 2022 for many already enrolled in a Marketplace plan.  


Qualifications for Coverage  

  • The Special Enrollment Period began February 15, 2021 and will run through August 15, 2021.  Customers must apply during this time period. 
  • During this period, it will not be necessary to provide any documentation of a qualifying life event – such as loss of a job or birth of a child – which is typically required. 
  • Those who recently had a qualifying life event and missed the normal 60-day Special Enrollment Period can also apply for necessary coverage.  
  • This Special Enrollment Period does not apply to dental coverage, standard rules apply for dental. 


Limited Special Enrollment Period 

Advising Patients Interested in Applying for New Plans 

Please advise any interested individuals or families to apply for coverage using the methods below. 

Current members should: 

  • Reach out to their authorized Blue Cross NC agent. 
  • Call Customer Service at 1-888-206-4697. 
  • Visit to contact us via secure inbox message or chat. 
  • Get in-person help at one of the Blue Cross NC Centers near Raleigh, Charlotte or Boone. Learn more at

New members should: 

  • Reach out to an authorized Blue Cross NC agent. 
  • Visit and click on the Get a Free Rate Quote button or speak directly to a sales representative by calling 1-800-324-4973, Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Visit if you qualify for a subsidy. 
  • Get in-person help at one of the Blue Cross NC Centers near Raleigh, Charlotte or Boone. Learn more at


The American Rescue Plan Act 

ARPA was signed into law on March 11, 2021. For 2021 & 2022, the new law expands financial assistance for more consumers and lowers premiums for many already enrolled in a Marketplace plan. Fully subsidized coverage will be offered for those earning 100 to 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). 

Please advise any individuals or families who have questions about the ARPA law using the information below.

Current Marketplace customers should:

  • The Marketplace will not be automatically updating subsidy amounts.  
  • You should update your application by going to to receive new eligibility results.  
  • Your new subsidy should take effect within two billing cycles.  
  • You can take advantage of the expanded premium tax credits for previous months when filing your 2021 taxes.  
  • Applications to receive the expanded premium tax credits can be updated any time throughout the year.  

If you would like to change your 2021 plan at the same time, you must do so during the Special Enrollment Period window. You might have access to a plan with lower out of pocket costs for the same price or less than what you are currently paying. 

Current Off Marketplace customers should: 

  • Visit our website to see if you are now subsidy eligible.  
  • If you are newly eligible, you will need to select a new plan. Keep in mind that if you move to a Marketplace plan, deductible, out of pocket maximum and coinsurance accumulators will start over and a binder payment is required.  

Be sure to call Blue Cross NC at 1-888-206-4697 to cancel your Off Marketplace plan.  

Currently unemployed customers should: 

The full advanced premium tax credits (APTC) reductions will be available in early July. Once this change goes into effect, you may have the ability to receive a $0 premium plan. To qualify you must have received or have been approved to receive unemployment compensation for any week beginning during 2021 and must meet other APTC eligibility requirements.  

You will need to provide documentation to the IRS of the unemployment compensation when you file your taxes for 2021. This provision is only for the 2021 plan year. Visit our website to view and select a Marketplace plan.  


This update is for information purposes only. More detailed information about the Special Enrollment Period and the ARPA law can be found on Blue Cross NC's recent blog post.