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Spanberger: Administration’s Refusal to Pursue ACA Special Enrollment Period is “Tragic & Misguided” Move Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Last Month, the Congresswoman Called on the Administration to Open a Special Enrollment Period for Individual Health Insurance Signups

Henrico, April 1, 2020

HENRICO, V.A. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after the administration indicated that it would not open a special enrollment period for individual health insurance signups during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“In the face of this public health emergency, the administration’s refusal to open a special enrollment period is tragic and misguided. Without the opportunity to sign up for new or updated health insurance plans, many Central Virginia families who are uninsured won’t be able to change their current coverage situations until November 2020. If these individuals become sick due to COVID-19 in the coming weeks, they won’t have insurance coverage to get them through their medical emergency—and they’ll put their communities at even higher risk,” said Spanberger. “To make sure those who are seriously ill can obtain the treatment they need, we need to come to the aid of our most vulnerable neighbors during this difficult time. I urge the administration to reevaluate this decision, because the lives of Central Virginians are hanging in the balance.”

Last month, Spanberger urged U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar to establish a special enrollment period for patients seeking ACA Marketplace coverage as this public health emergency continues. HHS has previously opened federal enrollment periods following disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Dorian.

According to a 2020 report from the Virginia Healthcare Foundation, approximately 712,000 Virginians under the age of 65 did not have health insurance in 2018 —and more than 64 percent of these uninsured residents are part of working families. Many of these families are eligible for subsidized plans through the ACA Marketplace.

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