The Biden administration is adding another 30 days to the annual open enrollment period for Americans to purchase individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.
The move is designed to increase access to coverage and in effective reverses a move made by the Donald Trump White House to narrow the annual period known as open enrollment when Americans select their health plan for the following year.
Americans will have an additional 30 days to “review and choose health plans through Open Enrollment,” which will begin Nov, 1 of this year and run through January 15, 2022, on the HealthCare.gov website where residents of most states go to choose their plans. State-run states already have a similar sign-up period.
“(Friday’s) action to extend the Open Enrollment Period by a month, to continue our investment in local health care Navigators, and to establish a special enrollment period for many low-income people further demonstrates our commitment to connect families to coverage,” Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees health insurance coverage under the ACA said in an announcement Friday.
Trump and Republicans during his lone term in office made numerous failed attempts to repeal the ACA. Trump did, however, make it more difficult to sign up for health insurance coverage, beginning in the fall of 2017 when his appointees cut in half the open enrollment window from three months to just 45 days for states that relied on the HealthCare.gov portal, ending the sign-up period on Dec. 15.
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But the Biden administration decision to extend the annual fall open enrollment period is designed to increase access to healthcare, the Biden administration said.
“We’re continuing to answer the clear call from the American public for affordable, accessible care,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “The Biden-Harris Administration has already made historic investments to help connect communities to coverage. By continuing to build a policy framework that can support this momentum, we’re also building back better for communities in need.”