The Biden-Harris administration will open a special enrollment period for Americans to sign up for health insurance and roll back attacks on the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and access to reproductive health care

After four years of trying to withdraw health care from millions of Americans, President Biden will sign two executive measures designed to restore and strengthen Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care. The Biden-Harris administration will reopen enrollment in the health insurance market, take additional steps to strengthen Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, and protect women’s health. These actions show a strong commitment by the Biden Harris Administration to protect the Affordable Care Act and build on it to meet the health needs created by the pandemic, reduce health costs, protect access to reproductive health care, and improve our health system easier to navigate and fairer.

For President Biden, this is personal. He believes that every American has a right to peace of mind knowing they have access to affordable, quality health care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, over 100 million people You no longer have to worry about an insurance company denying coverage or charging higher premiums just because they have a pre-existing condition. Rough 20 million additional Americans receive the security that comes with health insurance and young people moving from school to job can stay covered by their parents’ plan until the age of 26.

As we continue to fight COVID-19, it is even more important that Americans have meaningful access to affordable care. The action the president is taking today complements the commitment he made in the American Rescue Plan to make health insurance more affordable for millions of Americans. Reliable and affordable access to health insurance is not only good for family health. It is an important source of economic security and peace of mind for all.

Today’s promotions include:

Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. This executive order takes important steps to reverse and strengthen attacks on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act so that millions of Americans can continue to have access to life-saving care. Based on this executive order, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is expected to open for a “special enrollment period” from February 15, 2021 to May 15, 2021. This special enrollment deadline will apply to Americans who need health insurance during this global pandemic, the opportunity to enroll.

The President will also instruct federal agencies to reconsider rules and other policies that limit Americans’ access to health care and to consider measures to protect and strengthen that access.

Agencies are instructed to re-examine:

  • Policies that undermine the protection of people with pre-existing medical conditions, including complications related to COVID-19;
  • Medicaid and ACA demonstrations and waivers that may reduce coverage or undermine programs, including job requirements;
  • Policies that undermine the health insurance market or other health insurance markets;
  • Guidelines that make it difficult to register with Medicaid and the ACA; and
  • Policies that reduce the affordability of coverage or financial assistance, including for dependents.

As part of their reviews, the agencies will consider whether additional measures should be taken to strengthen and protect access to health care.

Protecting the health of women at home and abroad. Across the country and around the world, people – particularly women, blacks, indigenous and other people of color, LGBTQ + people, and low-income people – have been denied access to reproductive health care. President Biden is also issuing a presidential memorandum to protect and expand access to comprehensive reproductive health care. The memorandum reflects the policy of the Biden-Harris administration to support the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in the United States and around the world. Like the memorandums issued by President Clinton and President Obama before him, it immediately lifts the global gag rule, also known as Mexico City politics, which prohibits international nonprofits that offer abortion counseling or referrals from US funds to obtain. In recognition of the additional work required to protect access to reproductive health care, President Biden’s memorandum directs the Department of Health and Human Services to take immediate action to review the regulations under its family planning program by title X should be canceled.