By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – More than half a million Americans have taken advantage of the Biden government’s special health insurance enrollment window linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government announced on Wednesday that even more consumers will gain coverage in the coming months.
The reason the authorities expect registrations to continue to grow is that millions of people have become eligible as of April 1 to increase subsidies for their prizes under President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief legislation. The special application opportunity for Affordable Care Act plans will be available until August 15th.
Biden campaigned on the basis of an Obama-era health law-building strategy to pressure the United States toward coverage for all. As president, he wasted no time.
With the increase in the number of uninsured Americans during the pandemic, Biden reopened the law’s health insurance markets as a barrier. So the virus help package basically cut the price of health insurance, making taxpayer subsidies more generous, while allowing more people to qualify for financial assistance.
These sweeteners will be available for the remainder of this year and until the end of 2022. Consumers who were already covered by the health law earlier this year are also entitled to increased financial assistance, but will have to log in or call to update their plans. On average, people can save $ 50 a month, says the government.
Figures released on Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that 528,005 people recently signed up for government-sponsored private plans from February 15 to March 31.
But those numbers are incomplete because they cover only the 36 states served by the federal insurance market HealthCare.gov. National enrollment will be higher when the totals are later computed in states like California and New York, which have their own insurance sites.
The new report also showed that more than 870,000 people who accessed the HealthCare.gov website or contacted the call center were considered eligible for Medicaid, the federal state’s health program for low-income people.
Although President Donald Trump spared no effort to overturn the Obama-era law, more than 20 million people remained covered by it at the end of Trump’s term.
This number combines those with HealthCare.gov plans, as well as low-income adults covered by expanded Medicaid. But with the economy losing jobs because of the coronavirus outages, the number of uninsured Americans has increased. Biden sought to stop the erosion and hopes, ultimately, to reverse it.
Among the states showing strong enrollment gains are several big ones that went to Trump in last November’s election, including Florida, Texas and North Carolina. Florida recorded the biggest gain, with more than 146,000 entries.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 33 million Americans are uninsured. This is still less than when President Barack Obama’s health bill was passed, but it is a reversal from previous years, when the rate of uninsured has steadily declined.
The CBO estimates that about 3 million people have lost coverage as a result of the pandemic. Some private experts estimate higher numbers, in the range of 5 to 10 million.
Republicans say expanding health care law is the wrong way to go, but they have failed to come together around a vision of health of their own. This left the political field for Biden, who is maneuvering with narrow Democratic margins in Congress to try to execute an ambitious health agenda, including a new “public option” plan as an alternative to private insurance, and giving Medicare the power to negotiate directly. prescription drug prices.