What We're Reading: Insurance Options for the Unemployed; States Rethink Plans to Open; Blood Reserves Critically Low

June 12, 2020

A special enrollment period provides an opportunity to those recently unemployed and without insurance with possibility of health coverage; several states reporting rises in cases, hospitalizations due to coronavirus disease 2019; US blood reserves reaching critically low levels.

Regaining Health Care Coverage Amid COVID-19

With over 20 million Americans having filed for unemployment amid the fallout of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many have also lost health insurance provided through work. Kaiser Health News noted that the Affordable Care Act mandates a special enrollment period for those who experience certain life events, such as losing employment and job-based coverage. Individuals have only 60 days after they lose their job-based insurance to qualify for this special enrollment period.

Some States Slow Reopening Plans

Reported cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 has risen in several states, sparking reconsideration on easing lockdown measures. Reported by Los Angeles Times, Oregon has decided to pause their plans to reopen as the state’s number of daily infections hit an all-time high since the start of the pandemic. This decision is followed by other states such as North Carolina, which reopened May 8; Mandy Cohen, the state's health chief, said that a second shutdown may be possible due to a surge in cases.

US Blood Reserves Critically Low

Reported by The Wall Street Journal, a majority of the US’ blood banks have reported to have less than 1-day supply for some types as the pandemic has led to the closure of places where blood drives typically occur, such as community centers and universities. The American Red Cross said that since mid-March, more than 30,000 planned blood drives have been cancelled. Notably, the reopening of businesses, schools, and community groups may not lead to more blood drives as many have told the Red Cross they do not plan on sponsoring these events in the near future.