March 23rd marked the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Fortunately, the anniversary was greeted with support for, and recent expansions of, the law.
This week The New York Times reported that more than 200,000 Americans sought health insurance through the ACA’s online marketplace during the first two weeks of a new, additional open enrollment period created by President Biden’s January executive order. The executive order created an extra enrollment period starting on Feb. 15, 2021.
On ACA’s anniversary, President Biden further announced that this extra open enrollment period would be extended to August 15, 2021. It had been scheduled to expire on May 15. This is in addition to the regular open enrollment period coming in the fall.
Additionally, the American Rescue Plan Act, the COVID-19 relief package that became law on March 11, 2021, contains Medicaid provisions that could also expand coverage to more people. Reports indicate that even conservative states that had not previously expanded Medicaid under the ACA are now considering the expansion.
Expanding access to quality health care is particularly important now as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, and the associated job losses that have reduced employer-based coverage for many Americans.
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