Pandemic Prompts Special ACA Enrollment Period
President Joe Biden signed executive orders on Jan. 28 to direct federal agencies to open a special enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as review previous actions that “limit Americans’ access to health care.” The orders direct the Department of Health and Human Services to open a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 through May 15.
Enrollment will reopen on HealthCare.gov, which serves most states. California and Washington state are also planning to reopen enrollment in their state-run marketplaces, and Biden officials expect the other dozen-plus states overseeing enrollment will likely reopen for business. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the federal insurance marketplaces, said it would spend $50 million on an outreach campaign to promote enrollment — five times the amount that the Trump administration had spent on annual sign-up seasons.