COVID-19

Trump decides against reopening health care enrollment during pandemic

Rose Conlon Apr 1, 2020
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images
COVID-19

Trump decides against reopening health care enrollment during pandemic

Rose Conlon Apr 1, 2020
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Despite President Trump’s warning of a painful spike in COVID-19 cases over the next two weeks, the Trump administration will not reopen Affordable Care Act exchanges that would allow millions of uninsured Americans to purchase health insurance during the pandemic.

The exchanges are online marketplaces for health insurance. The regular annual enrollment period closed months ago, and the administration had previously said it was considering launching a special enrollment period in light of the outbreak, following pressure from Democratic lawmakers and health insurers.

But a White House official said Tuesday that the administration decided against it.

The decision affects Americans in about two-thirds of states, including populous states like Texas and Florida, whose health care marketplaces are run by the federal government. Of the states that run their own marketplaces – 12 plus the District of Columbia – all but one have opened special enrollment periods in response to the pandemic.

If you’ve lost your employer-based health insurance recently, you’ll still be able to sign up for insurance. But the many hospitality and retail workers whose employers never offered insurance in the first place may be out of luck.

“If you’re uninsured and if you didn’t have insurance through your job, you won’t qualify — even if you’ve lost your job. The trigger is whether you’ve lost your insurance coverage,” said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms.

The administration is reportedly “exploring other options” for uninsured Americans.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Which businesses are allowed to reopen right now? And which businesses are actually doing so?

As a patchwork of states start to reopen, businesses that fall into a gray area are wondering when they can reopen. In many places, salons are still shuttered. Bars are mostly closed, too, although restaurants may be allowed to ramp up, depending on the state. “It’s kind of all over the place,” said Elizabeth Milito of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Will you be able to go on vacation this summer?

There’s no chance that this summer will be a normal season for vacations either in the U.S. or internationally. But that doesn’t mean a trip will be impossible. People will just have to be smart about it. That could mean vacations closer to home, especially with gas prices so low. Air travel will be possible this summer, even if it is a very different experience than usual.

When does the expanded COVID-19 unemployment insurance run out?

The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March, authorized extra unemployment payments, increasing the amount of money, and broadening who qualifies. The increased unemployment benefits have an expiration date — an extra $600 per week the act authorized ends on July 31.

You can find answers to more questions here.

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