On Wednesday, Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, and a majority of Legislative Democrats sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar calling for a special enrollment period during the COVID19 pandemic. Full text of the letter is available here.

Speaker Sara Gideon released the following statement:

“Every single Mainer deserves access to affordable, quality health care. The recent public health crisis only increased the urgency of that very real need. A special enrollment period is a critical tool to help more of us to stay healthy, seek preventative care, and respond quickly to any symptoms of COVID-19 to stop its spread. As Mainers face unprecedented economic hardship, we should do all we can to give people the opportunity to get the security and peace of mind that health care coverage provides. My colleagues and I urge Secretary Azar to take immediate action.”

Senate President Troy Jackson released the following statement:

“To solve this public health crisis, we’ll need to exhaust every possible option to protect Maine families, promote public health and save lives. A special enrollment period is essential to combat this virus in Maine. By allowing Mainers to get health insurance during this crisis, we can increase the number of people who feel comfortable calling their doctor if they develop symptoms so they can get tested and self-quarantine to reduce the spread of this virus. It will also allow more Mainers to get the preventive care they need and avoid ending up in our already overwhelmed hospitals. It’s a simple move that can have major results, which is why my colleagues and I are calling on Secretary Azar to take quick and decisive action.”