Biden Reopens Federal Health Insurance Marketplace

President Joe Biden announced he would reopen the federal health insurance marketplace for three months, emphasizing the importance of ensuring more Americans have access to health care as the nation continues to contend with the realities of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Starting today and running through May 15, 2021, we are opening for all Americans to have the opportunity to sign up for health insurance,” Biden said.

Biden also tied the special enrollment period to his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, which he says “will ramp up testing, tracing, and our national vaccination program,” as well as “take big steps to lower health costs and expand access to care for all Americans, including those who have lost their jobs.”

The website has already been updated with information to answer any questions people might have about the special enrollment period.

Biden had last month signed an executive order reopening the marketplace.

People who lost their jobs and health insurance months ago can sign up for new coverage during the special enrollment period. People who have already enrolled in a marketplace plan have the option to switch their coverage. People will be directed to their state’s Medicaid program for coverage if their annual income is below the Medicaid threshold.

Individuals do not have to provide documentation that they’ve lost job-based health care coverage nor do they need to explain how long they’ve been uninsured.

“The message is quite simple: Come and apply,” Sarah Lueck, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told NPR.