President Biden has promised to make health care more affordable and available. His executive order today takes one immediate step in that direction.
As a result of his action, the Department of Health and Human Services is set to reopen enrollment on the federal Affordable Care Act exchange between Feb. 15 and May 15.
This would give Americans who missed the most recent sign-up period, which ended Dec. 15, access to Obamacare policies — and to federal assistance to pay for them. Roughly 15 million uninsured people could benefit, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Nearly 9 million of them could qualify for free or subsidized coverage, according to the Foundation. Individuals making up to about $51,000 and families of four earning up to about $104,800 are eligible for subsidies.
Some 36 states use the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, for enrollment. But most, if not all, of the states that run their own marketplaces are also expected to launch special sign-up periods, according to a White House official.
Still, it's unclear how many people will take advantage of the chance to select an Obamacare policy.
The Biden administration is promising to conduct a "robust outreach" effort to make these folks aware of the opportunity and help them sign up, the official said. It will include paid advertising, direct outreach to consumers and partnerships with community organizations.