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Analysis Shows 3.25 Million Americans Would Enroll In ACA Exchange Plans If Trump Administration Held Special Enrollment Period

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Earlier this week, a coalition of 12 Democratic governors led by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to the Trump administration, calling on them to reverse their previous decision and immediately open a special enrollment period on the federal health care exchange to help individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An analysis by Health Care Analyst Charles Gaba projects that if all 50 states and the District of Columbia had a 60-day open enrollment period, between 2.5 and 3.25 million additional Americans would enroll in Affordable Care Act exchange plans. While people who lose their jobs are eligible to enroll in the normal “coverage loss” special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event, millions of people trying to enroll at the same time will likely become a train wreck due to the amount of paperwork required by the Trump administration.
The letter from the governors emphasized the importance of health care during the pandemic, explaining that uninsured or underinsured Americans may decide to not seek help for coronavirus symptoms because they fear the high cost of testing and treatment. The governors said, “Not only is this unacceptable, it’s also dangerous as it undermines our ability as a nation to stop the spread of COVID19.”
“The Trump administration is intentionally denying health care to millions of people in the midst of a pandemic,” said DGA Communications Director David Turner. “Democratic governors have taken steps in their states to expand Medicaid and access to health care, but only the federal government has the power to open a special ACA enrollment period. By refusing to provide access to health care during this crisis, the federal government could worsen the pandemic and could put greater financial strain on uninsured and underinsured Americans.”