West Calls on Federal Government to Immediately Create Special ACA Enrollment Period Due to COVID-19

DALLAS—State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) on Thursday called on the federal government, specifically the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to immediately create a special Affordable Care Act open enrollment period to protect American workers losing employer-sponsored health insurance as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“Early projections indicate between 500,000 and five million people will become unemployed in the near future, or are already unemployed,” West said. 

West noted that 11 states and the District of Columbia had already opened special open enrollment periods for Americans who have lost their jobs and insurance as a result of COVID-19’s impact on the American economy. 

West noted that government leaders and insurance industry leaders favor a special open enrollment period. 

“This is a no-brainer,” West said. “We must reopen Affordable Care Act enrollment on an emergency basis nationwide, and we must do it now,” West said. 

“Nearly 30 million Americans are already uninsured,” West said. “We cannot afford to see this number grow by as many as five million people during this crisis,” he continued. 

“Our healthcare system in this country was broken before this pandemic, and the Coronavirus is showing, in technicolor, the weaknesses in our system,” West said. “The biggest weakness is what happens with uninsured Americans during a crisis like this,” he concluded.