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President Biden Announces Executive Orders Strengthen the Affordable Care Act and Open HealthCare.Gov for Three Months

January 28, 2021
Contact: Juan Ramiro Sarmiento
(785) 760-6567 |

President Biden Announces Executive Orders Strengthen the Affordable Care Act and Open HealthCare.Gov for Three Months

(Washington, DC) – Today, President Biden signed an Executive Order intended to help Americans gain access to comprehensive health coverage by re-opening the ACA’s exchange, and direct federal agencies to review policies that are undermining the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. In a second Executive Order, President Biden also reversed the “Mexico City Policy” which prohibited international organizations receiving US aid from performing or promoting abortion services. The executive order calls for re-opening HealthCare.Gov, the official health insurance marketplace, to anyone who is uninsured and otherwise eligible, without restriction. Normally, uninsured consumers would only qualify for a special enrollment period if they lost coverage, or experienced another major life event. The new open enrollment period will begin February 15th and end May 15th. It is also expected to be accompanied by increased funding for advertising and outreach efforts to ensure consumers know about the open enrollment period, and how to sign up for coverage.

In response, Erin Hemlin, Health Policy and Advocacy Director for Young Invincibles issued the following statement:

“Today’s announcement by President Biden is an essential first step in reversing the cruel and politically-motivated sabotage of the Affordable Care Act that has caused unnecessary suffering. The facts are clear: young adults are uninsured at higher rates than older adults, and young adults need significant resources to access coverage. Today we applaud President Biden for taking decisive action to not only reopen HealthCare.Gov, but to also dedicate the resources needed to ensure Americans know how to get covered.

Today’s actions create a second chance to sign up for health coverage for so many young adults and young families, where affordable coverage is within reach, but may have gone uninsured simply because they did not know financial help is available. In fact, nearly 4 million Americans could qualify for a $0 premium plan, and a disproportionate amount of those people are young adults between 18-34. And yet they remain uninsured because there is very little awareness of such affordability, and outreach efforts have been inadequate.

Today’s executive actions also direct federal agencies to review policies that undermine access to health coverage through the ACA and Medicaid, specifically naming Medicaid work reporting requirements, an illegal and unprecedented attempt to require Medicaid recipients to prove employment status. As we have argued for years, not only does this requirement go against the integrity of the Medicaid program – it doesn’t actually work.

There is still so much damage to be undone, but today we celebrate these crucial first steps. Undoing the damage of the past four years and fighting the ongoing COVID pandemic will require a continued commitment to comprehensive affordable care for everyone, and we are ready for that fight.”

Access to health coverage has steadily worsened over the past four years, and in the midst of a public health crisis, the previous administration refused for months to open up HealthCare.Gov, and allow uninsured Americans a chance to sign up for health coverage. After cutting outreach and advertising about HealthCare.Gov by 90 percent, the administration refused again to increase spending on awareness efforts as millions lost coverage due to the pandemic.

As the leaders of the National Get Covered Coalition, we work with Navigators and assisters who have managed to persevere the untenable conditions of the previous four years, and have found creative ways to continue to assist those who need enrollment help. This assistance is critical to young people, many of whom are navigating health insurance for the first time. YI stands ready to work with the Biden administration, Navigators, assisters, and other partners across the country to ensure that every uninsured young adult can use this new open enrollment period to enroll in a quality, affordable, health plan.