Americans who have had a lapse in insurance coverage for 63 days or more would be blocked from coverage for an additional six months under the Senate GOP plan, the Hill reports.
The provision, as part of an amendment to the bill released on Monday, is an attempt by Republicans to restrict those who buy healthcare at the last minute, or when they just get sick, from getting coverage right away, according to sources familiar with the process of the bill so far.
“[I]n the case of an individual that submits an application during the open enrollment period or under a special enrollment period for which the individual qualifies, coverage under the plan begins on the day that is 6 months after the date on which the individual submits an application for health insurance coverage,” states part of the amendment to the bill released on Monday.
In other words, if an individual, who has not had coverage for the past two months, decides to enroll in an insurance plan on the exchange, coverage for that plan would not begin for half of a year — during which time, health costs would likely fall on that individual.
The concerns over whether sick people will simply apply for coverage (and receive it), thus destabilizing the marketplace, was what led to the necessary requirement that all Americans able to purchase insurance do so. The mandate under Obamacare would be repealed under the Republican-authored Trumpcare, but its method for ensuring that individuals do not enter the marketplace at a moment’s notice seems far more punitive.
The proposed bill, which President Donald Trump himself has described as “mean,” seems to fulfill that moniker by instituting this requirement that individuals seeking to re-enter the marketplace must wait another six months to receive any of the healthcare coverage they’re paying for.