Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family

Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family

Governor Ducey Requests Special Health Care Enrollment Period

PHOENIX⁠ — Governor Doug Ducey today made a request to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar to open a special enrollment period on the Federal Insurance Marketplace. If granted, the action would allow individuals who have recently lost a job or had their income reduced due to COVID-19 to access health care on the federal marketplace.  

“At this time when health insurance is of critical importance and so many people are experiencing a loss of employment, opening a special enrollment period will cut unnecessary red tape and lift a paperwork burden off individuals who are already facing challenges from a sudden and significant change in circumstances,” Governor Ducey said in the letter. “Such a move would provide an important option to families in Arizona and across the country who are struggling, and help give them peace of mind knowing that they have health insurance coverage.”

Governor Ducey took additional action earlier today to expand health care access for Arizonans, including issuing an Executive Order requiring health care insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit. This morning, the Governor also made a request to the federal government to expand nutritional assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

View a PDF of the Governor's letter to HHS HERE.

Read the full letter below.

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Secretary Azar,

I am writing to you today to strongly encourage you to open a special enrollment period on the Federal Insurance Marketplace which Arizona, like 31 other states, utilizes in place of running a state based exchange. As you are aware, at least 11 states which operate a state based marketplace have opened special enrollment periods, and we would ask that the Federal Insurance Marketplace do the same. 

Opening a special enrollment period on the Federal Insurance Marketplace will allow individuals who have lost their employment or have seen their income dramatically reduced as the economic fallout of the Coronavirus outbreak unfolds to have the ability to purchase health insurance with subsidies to make these plans more affordable when their income qualifies. Such a move would provide an important option to families in Arizona and across the country who are struggling and help give them peace of mind to know that they have health insurance coverage.

While individuals who have lost their employment are permitted to purchase a health insurance plan during a short time period after loss of employment, a substantial paperwork burden is placed on the individual to qualify. At this time when health insurance is of critical importance and so many people are experiencing a loss of employment, opening a special enrollment period will cut unnecessary red tape and lift a paperwork burden off individuals who are already facing challenges from a sudden and significant change in circumstances.

To ensure individuals have access to health insurance options at this critical time, we strongly encourage you to open a special enrollment period on the Federal Insurance Marketplace. Should you have any questions, please reach out to my office.

Sincerely,

Douglas A. Ducey
Governor of Arizona

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