The COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear that all people need access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage now more than ever. Research has demonstrated that access to comprehensive health insurance means access to timely, medically necessary health care. If someone without health insurance today contracts the COVID-19 virus, they may be forced to make the difficult decision to not be tested and treated due to fears about the cost of care. That puts our entire society – particularly the people we represent – at risk.
As Congress considers additional legislation aimed at protecting the financial, physical and mental health of the American people, we note that the following priorities are critical to ensuring quality health insurance coverage is affordable and accessible:
- Provide additional funding for state Medicaid programs, maintain the maintenance of effort provisions included in the CARES Act, and extend the length of time states can use funds.
- Require COVID-19 testing, treatment, vaccines, and recovery services to be provided at no-cost to consumers, regardless of their method of coverage. Incentivize states to expand Medicaid.
- Block the implementation, enforcement, and effect of all final rules that expanded availability of non-compliant plans like short-term, limited-duration and association health plans. Codify limits on non-compliant plans into law.
- Extend eligibility and provide subsidies for individuals who have lost employer sponsored coverage.