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ICYMI: Health Care Enrollment Is Up, Health Care Costs Are Down

September 17, 2021

Nearly 3 Million Gain Quality, Affordable Health Care During Special Enrollment Period, Underscoring Need for the Build Back Better Agenda

"Striking Success" ... Ended years of complaints that ACA plans were unaffordable" ... "Lower prices and a surge of enrollments" ... " plans became significantly cheaper"

President Biden promised to protect and build upon the Affordable Care Act. Under his leadership, the Administration opened a special enrollment period during the pandemic, expanded access to quality, affordable health care, and lowered costs through the American Rescue Plan.

Earlier this week, President Biden announced that 2.8 million Americans gained health care during the 2021 special enrollment period, bringing the total number of Americans enrolled in coverage under the Affordable Care Act to 12.2 million – an all-time high.

According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, President Biden's American Rescue Plan lowered monthly premiums an average of $67 a month, and more than four and ten Americans who enrolled during the special period found a quality plan for $10 or less per month. These improvements are just the beginning. President Biden has proposed to extend the enhanced Affordable Care Act tax credits as part of his Build Back Better Agenda, which would help 7 million people gain health insurance and continue lowering health care costs.

See below for what Americans were reading about expanded access and lower costs:

Associated Press: Biden: Nearly 3M get health coverage during COVID-19 sign-up
[Darlene Superville, 9/15/21]

"President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that 2.8 million consumers took advantage of a special six-month period to sign up for private health insurance coverage made more affordable by his COVID-19 relief law. He called the number encouraging and urged Congress to help lower health care costs ... Biden ordered the marketplace to reopen Feb. 15 for six months, through Aug. 15, to give people who lost their jobs and health care benefits due to the pandemic the opportunity to sign up for coverage for themselves and their families."

Reuters: Nearly 3 mln Americans sign up for healthcare during special enrollment period
[Nandita Bose, 9/15/21]

"Nearly three million Americans have signed up for health insurance on the U.S. government website during a special enrollment period that began on Feb. 15, President Joe Biden said in a statement on Wednesday. Biden, a Democrat, re-opened the online health insurance marketplace to give more Americans a chance to take advantage of benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare."

Bloomberg: Biden Says 2.8 Million Bought Health Coverage in Special Period
[Justin Sink, 9/15/21]

"President Joe Biden said 2.8 million Americans signed up for health insurance through Obamacare exchanges during a special enrollment period started early in his presidency, pushing the number of Americans who receive coverage under the Affordable Care Act to an all-time high. The record enrollments came after the president in February announced he would allow Americans who missed the deadline to purchase health care coverage a second chance, citing the coronavirus pandemic. An emergency relief package passed by Congress in April then increased federal subsidies for Americans buying insurance on state-run exchanges, leading to lower prices and a surge of enrollments before the special period ended last month."

Washington Post: Special enrollment for ACA health plans attracts nearly 3 million consumers
[Amy Goldstein, 9/15/21]

"About 2.8 million people signed up for Affordable Care Act health plans during an unprecedented, six-month special enrollment period that President Biden ordered to help Americans find insurance coverage during the coronavirus pandemic, according to figures his administration released Wednesday. The additional enrollees push the reliance on ACA health plans to 12.2 million, the highest level since the insurance marketplaces created under the law first offered health plans in 2014. The enrollment tally — along with a raft of figures illustrating that such health plans are affordable for many people — comes as the president is pressing Congress to make permanent a temporary upgrade in federal subsidies for ACA plans that began early in the spring through a pandemic relief law ... That change ended years of complaints that ACA plans were unaffordable for people with such incomes because the subsidies were not available to them."

MSNBC: Biden's ACA special enrollment period brought coverage to millions
[Steven Benen, 9/16/21]

"Biden's decision to create a special ACA enrollment period proved to be a striking success. It's part of the ACA's very good year ... Just one week after his inauguration, President Joe Biden did what his predecessor would not: He issued an executive order to create a special enrollment period through the Affordable Care Act, citing a need created by the pandemic ... What's more, all things considered, the ACA is having a very good year. Not only did the U.S. Supreme Court shield the ACA from its latest Republican attack a few months ago, but the open enrollment data coincides with expansive new benefits included in the Democrats' Covid relief package. Some have seen their premiums cut in half, while many have seen their premiums fall to literally zero, thanks entirely to the investments in the president's American Rescue Plan."

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: Health Care Enrollment Is Up, Health Care Costs Are Down Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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