Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin have introduced a bill to open up the federal health insurance exchange temporarily to provide people coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would open up the marketplace exchange for a one-time special enrollment period beginning on July 1st and ending on October 1st. This one-time three-month enrollment period would also streamline the process for newly unemployed Americans to bypass the requirements for insurance enrollment currently in place for individuals who experience a qualifying life event, such as losing employer-sponsored coverage. The COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period Act would allow these new individuals to purchase healthcare coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duckworth and Durbin say that getting all Americans insurance during the pandemic is imperative so they are able to pay for coverage if they were to possibly be hospitalized.
The Trump Administration denied the State of Illinois request submitted in March for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow Illinois residents a three-month special enrollment period. On Monday, June 15th, the City of Chicago filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump Administration over this decision. A House of Representatives parent bill introduced by Texas Democrat Representative Lloyd Doggett was introduced in April and currently sits in debate in committee.