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Pandemic Prompts Special ACA Enrollment Period

President Biden signs Executive Order.
February 3, 2021

President Joe Biden signed executive orders on Jan. 28 to direct federal agencies to open a special enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as review previous actions that “limit Americans’ access to health care.” The orders direct the Department of Health and Human Services to open a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 through May 15.

Enrollment will reopen on, which serves most states. California and Washington state are also planning to reopen enrollment in their state-run marketplaces, and Biden officials expect the other dozen-plus states overseeing enrollment will likely reopen for business. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the federal insurance marketplaces, said it would spend $50 million on an outreach campaign to promote enrollment — five times the amount that the Trump administration had spent on annual sign-up seasons.


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