Duckworth asks CMS for special ACA enrollment period

Duckworth asks CMS for special ACA enrollment period

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., asked Friday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services establish a special open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act plans during the new coronavirus outbreak.

Duckworth joined 24 senators on the letter to the CMS Administrator Seema Verma and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. They noted that there are 27.5 million Americans without health coverage and even more with “junk plans” that could leave them with high bills.

“It is imperative for patients to receive covered care, regardless of whether they test positive or negative for the virus,” they wrote. “Patients should not feel the need to avoid care out of fear of incurring medical bills they cannot afford.”

CMS said in response to the letter that it’s “looking closely at all of its policies and across all of its programs” to respond to the pandemic. The agency isn’t currently offering a special enrollment period designated for the virus, but consumers not enrolled in coverage can see if they qualify for other special enrollment periods, the agency noted.

“We will continue to work closely with states and health plans around the country to assess what additional actions are necessary to ensure the American people have coverage for and access to the services they need during this time,” CMS said.


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