The Trump administration will not reopen enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act despite the coronavirus outbreak, a White House official said Tuesday night.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said last week it was considering such a move.
Americans who do not currently have coverage can see if they qualify for "special enrollment periods" if they have lost their job or have been subject to other life-changing circumstances, a CMS representative said then.
President Donald Trump has long been a fierce opponent of the act, known as Obamacare, and tried unsuccessfully to repeal it.
Nonetheless, last month he'd signaled he was thinking about a special enrollment period for reopening the federal exchanges, which closed in December with the end of the annual open enrollment period.
"It's something we're talking to a lot of people about," he said," according to reports by NBC News. "We'll see what happens."
The news organization reported that although the federal exchanges will remain shuttered, individual states like New York and California have reopened their state exchanges for special enrollment periods in the face of this unprecedented public health crisis.
Politico said the decision by the administration came in defiance of calls from health insurers and Democrats to create a special sign-up window during the pandemic.
According to the Politico report, insurers said they had expected Trump to announce a special enrollment period last Friday based on conversations they'd had with officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs HealthCare.gov enrollment. It wasn’t immediately clear why the Trump administration decided against doing so.
Politico said that according to one White House official, the administration, which oversees enrollment for roughly two-thirds of states, is considering other unspecified options.
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