Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has joined a coalition of 12 governors to ask President Trump to allow for a special enrollment period to allow for increased access to affordable health care.
Whitmer is joining the governors from Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The letter asks for a special enrollment period of at least 30 days on the federal health care exchange.
“During this crisis, we must do everything we can to ensure access to quality, affordable health care,” Whitmer said in a statement. “That’s why we’re calling on the Trump Administration to do the right thing, reconsider its decision, and allow for a special enrollment period, and it’s also why we’re taking action in Michigan to expand opportunities for safe, quality care.”
The governors’ letter raises concerns that residents are not obtaining coronavirus testing and treatment because of the fear of the cost.
“Too many of our constituents are uninsured or underinsured despite the steps we’ve taken at the state level,” the governors said in a statement. “…It is essential that we remove every barrier as quickly as possible to ensure those in our states and across the country are able to access the treatment they need.”
The letter echoes a similar request from Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Director Anita Fox on March 12, as well as from U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) on the same day.
The DIFS announced on April 10 that nearly all of Michigan’s health insurance companies would waive copays, deductibles and coinsurance for COVID-19 testing and treatments.
“We will continue to work with our partners across both state and federal government, as well as those in the private sector, to ensure Michiganders everywhere can access the care they need,” Whitmer said.
Read the entire letter from the governors here.