Coronavirus | COVID-19 | UnidosUS

We need to expand Medicaid and access to health care and remove eligibility restrictions for programs that provide a safety net for families in peril.

Responding to the Coronavirus pandemic


In this moment of crisis, we need to expand Medicaid and access to health care and remove eligibility restrictions for programs that provide a safety net for families in peril. 

See what we’re fighting for in this video:


  • The removal of eligibility restrictions on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) program. Specifically, Congress should remove the five-year waiting period in place for lawful permanent residents to enroll in these programs. 
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should notify all Medicaid and CHIP officials at the state level that they should assume that everyone is eligible to enroll in Medicaid. This would make it easier for people to enroll in government health insurance coverage. If states can encourage those without insurance to come forward and easily enroll, we have a better chance of detecting more cases and containing it.
  • Allow states to cover anyone without health insurance seeking COVID-19 testing or care under Medicaid. With millions at risk of losing their jobs, there is a real danger that millions could soon be without health insurance, at least in the short term. As in previous public emergencies like 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina, Medicaid has shown to be the best U.S. coverage program to cover people quickly. Health and Human Services (HHS) should also invite states to create a Medicaid backstop for other sources of insurance so cost or lack of coverage is no barrier to anyone seeking screening or treatment for COVID-19.
  • Congress should require the CMS and state-based exchanges to create an emergency Special Enrollment Period (SEP) anyone can join, with selected coverage going into effect immediately and covering all COVID-19 related costs retroactive to Jan. 31, 2020, when HHS declared the Coronavirus public health emergency. 
  • Congress should invest in boosting enrollment efforts and outreach for all health and coverage programs to Latino communities in both English and Spanish. Likewise, Congress should ensure the availability of high-quality English and Spanish information and bilingual health care staff in health care facilities and settings.

Read the CARES Act Brief: Health & Latinos.


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