Biden reopening ACA health insurance marketplaces

Keith A. Reynolds

The executive order also calls on agencies to take a second look at pre-existing condition rules.

President Joe R. Biden has taken executive action to increase insurance coverage and bolster the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by reopening the online insurance marketplace.

Through an executive order Biden has called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reopen the marketplace at HealthCare.gov for a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 to May 15, according to a fact sheet from the White House.

The move comes as millions fear losing their health employer-sponsored health insurance due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the order, Biden is also directing federal agencies to examine rules and policies which limit access to health care, such as:

  • Policies that undermine health care access for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Demonstrations and waivers under Medicaid and the ACA which reduce coverage or undermine the program, like work requirements.
  • Policies that undermine the Health Insurance Marketplace or other markets.
  • Policies that make it difficult to enroll in Medicaid and the ACA.
  • Policies which limit affordability of coverage including for dependents

The New York Times reports that during an oval office signing ceremony Biden said the move was an effort to “undo the damage” of his predecessor.

The Trump administration ultimately chose not to reopen the marketplace in March after the former president had floated the idea during press briefings saying they were exploring other options, as previously reported.