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article imageMillions of Americans to be denied Obamacare coverage

By Karen Graham     Apr 1, 2020 in Health
The Trump administration has decided against reopening Obamacare enrollment to uninsured Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, defying calls from health insurers and Democrats to create a special sign-up window amid the health crisis.
Last month, President Donald Trump said they were considering relaunching HealthCare.gov, the federal enrollment site for Obamacare. "It's something we're talking to a lot of people about. We'll see what happens," Trump said in March.
On Tuesday, after telling the American public we could expect 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the coronavirus epidemic, Trump made the decision to not hold a special enrollment period.
The annual open enrollment period for Obamacare closed in December, and insurers had expected Trump to reopen enrollment last Friday based on conversations they had with officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs HealthCare.gov enrollment.
Politico does point out, though, that Trump has also doubled down on his support of a lawsuit by Republican states that could destroy the entire Affordable Care Act, along with coverage for the 20 million people insured through the law.
With the surge in unemployment brought on by business closings due to stay-at-home orders, those losing their medical coverage do have a couple of options, including extending their employer plan for up to 18 months through COBRA, however, it can be an expensive option.
For low-income adults, there is also Medicaid which is in about two-thirds of the states that have adopted Obamacare's expansion of the program. There are also some short-term health insurance plans that have been promoted by Trump, although they do not, for the most part, accept pre-existing conditions and quite often, tend to change coverage without prior notice.
Bottom line: While the federal exchanges will remain shuttered, individual states like New York and California have reopened their state exchanges for special enrollment periods to address the unprecedented public health crisis. At least 30 million Americans will be hurt by the president's decision.
More about Obamacare, covid19 pandemic, Open Enrollment, uninsured americans
 
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