Executive orders re-open ACA markets for enrollment

The American Medical Association (AMA) issued a statement in support of executive actions from President Biden designed to increase health insurance enrollment and shore up the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The executive order, signed on Thursday, instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to open a special enrollment period for the ACA — which will run from Feb. 15 to May 15 and allow Americans who missed the Dec. 15 enrollment deadline another opportunity to get coverage. The executive order also directs federal agencies to reexamine current federal policies that may undermine the ACA and make it more difficult to enroll in Medicaid, such as work requirement rules instituted under the Trump administration and policies that weakened protections for people with preexisting conditions.

“As part of our longstanding support for meaningful insurance coverage for all patients, the AMA supported passage of the Affordable Care Act, and we are pleased by the Biden Administration actions today to bolster access,” AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD, wrote. “Opening the ACA exchanges provides a crucial lifeline at a time when people are losing insurance because of job layoffs as a result of the pandemic. We also applaud the administration’s move to eliminate barriers to Medicaid enrollment, which will repair holes in the health care safety net. Taken together, these actions will restore coverage to patients who are victims of the economic fallout of the pandemic.”

A second executive order from the Biden administration, also signed Thursday, removed the so-called Mexico City Policy, a Trump-era policy that banned international non-government organizations that provided abortion counseling or referrals from receiving U.S. funding.

John McKenna, Associate Editor, BreakingMED™

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