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Special coverage can be used for COVID-19 testing, treatment and other related services.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) sent a letter yesterday to the Trump Administration asking they allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to open a one-time special enrollment period (SEP) during the coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID-19 continues to dramatically alter our way of life,” the letter reads. “The ACP is concerned that those without comprehensive coverage may be less likely to seek and receive testing and treatment of COVID-19, endangering themselves and others.”
So far, 12 states, including Washington D.C., have opened special enrollment periods to those who have lost job-based coverage through state-based exchanges.
However, the letter says that a universal form of coverage is necessary if all eligible individuals are to receive the help they need.
“Creating an emergency SEP now will ensure all eligible individuals have a chance to enroll in subsidized comprehensive coverage regardless of health status or current insurance coverage status,” the letter reads. “It will also enable people to enroll in coverage quickly without having to submit documents confirming loss of coverage as required under the existing SEP for loss of job-based coverage.”
The call for increased coverage comes after a record-breaking 10 million unemployment claims were filed over the past two weeks. As states continue to issue stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders and businesses across the country close their doors that number is expected to increase.
Earlier this week administration representatives signaled they would not be temporarily reopening Affordable Care Act enrollment. They told Politico the administration is examining other options.
In the U.S., there are currently 239,009 cases of COVID-19 and there have been 5,784 deaths.
You can access all of Medical Economics’ coronavirus coverage here.