Biden Considers Expanding Obamacare Enrollment Window Past May

The Biden administration is considering extending the special enrollment window for Americans to purchase Affordable Care Act health plans beyond its current expiration date of May 15, according to an administration official familiar with the situation.

President Joe Biden ordered a new enrollment period from Feb. 15 to May 15, giving Americans a chance to purchase Obamacare health plans outside the usual year-end window. Meanwhile, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan enacted last week includes subsidies to offset costs for buying the plans.

More than 200,000 people signed up for ACA coverage in the first two weeks of the new enrollment period, Biden officials said last week. The combination of the special enrollment window, added assistance and a possible extension are likely to boost health insurers with big footprints in ACA marketplaces, including Centene Corp. and Molina Healthcare Inc.

“This is a very different administration with a very different approach to health care,” Jonathan Dinesman, executive vice president of government relations at Centene, said at a conference Tuesday. “President Biden will continue to look at ways to leverage Medicaid and the marketplace to expand coverage.”

To access the subsidies this year, most people will have to log in and claim them or purchase new coverage between April 1 and May 15. While the administration is considering extending the deadline once again, a decision won’t come until closer to that date, said the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.



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