President Biden announced Tuesday the special enrollment period for Obamacare is being extended until August 15.
Biden in January signed an executive order making it easier for the uninsured to obtain health coverage through ObamaCare during the pandemic with a special enrollment period on Healthcare.gov from Feb. 15 to May 15. That enrollment period will now last three months longer.
The change will allow more to take advantage of an even better deal on health care through advanced federal subsidies under the American Rescue Plan, the most recent Covid relief bill.
Biden announced the change at the James Cancer facility in Columbus, Ohio. The president has embarked on a tour across the country to tout the new stimulus bill he signed into law.
Biden said that “most folks” will now pay nothing for premiums, but would still be responsible for copays. He said that four out of five Americans who shop plans on the federal marketplace would find one for $10 or less per month.
The annual enrollment period for HealthCare.gov closed in mid-December for Americans living in the 36 states that rely on the federal marketplace.
Under current law, people who lose their job and employer-based insurance qualify for a special enrollment period through Obamacare but must provide proof that they lost their coverage. By establishing a special enrollment period, the White House is allowing people who chose not to buy health insurance this year but want it now would have been eligible to participate.
Biden noted “just how close we could come to losing that act we fought so hard for.” The Trump administration had sought to overturn the Affordable Care Act, arguing a 2017 change in a provision of the law known as the individual mandate rendered it unconstitutional. Congress had eliminated the penalty for not having health insurance. A decision on the case brought by Texas and other Republican-led states is still pending.
Some 23 million people get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and millions more with preexisting health conditions are protected from being denied insurance.