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Experts Discuss Biden’s Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Extension

Health Insurance Experts share what they think President Biden’s new executive order means for uninsured Americans.

Last week, President Biden signed an executive order designed to address the impact COVID-19 has had upon Americans’ ability to access healthcare. President Biden’s order reopened the health insurance marketplace for a special enrollment period, and also encouraged all government agencies to review their health insurance policies. 

According to reports from the Commonwealth Fund research group, nearly 7.7 million Americans lost their job-sponsored health insurance in June 2020 alone, and many others have lost their coverage since then. In contrast, a relatively small number of those people have signed up for COBRA or new health insurance, meaning that millions of Americans are newly uninsured during the greatest health crisis our country has ever seen. Public health analysts believe that disparities like these could combine to create an even worse healthcare crisis than we’re already facing, and agree this is likely at least part of the reasoning beyond Biden’s executive order.

“…nearly 7.7 Americans lost their job-sponsored health insurance in June 2020 alone.”

– Commonwealth Fund Report: “How Many Americans Have Lost Jobs with Employer Health Coverage During the Pandemic?”

Health insurance experts at Health Plan Options Today who work directly with the uninsured have given their take on Biden’s executive order and whether they think it can help the uninsured masses. 

“The biggest concern folks seem to have is that they can’t afford health insurance- especially considering today’s financial condition- so they often see no way out”, said William G, a representative at Health Plan Options Today. “Of course, this isn’t the case, and we’ve been doing our best to educate people to the contrary. Hopefully the President’s executive order causes people to take another look at health insurance so they can get covered”.

“The biggest concern folks seem to have is that they can’t afford health insurance… Of course, this isn’t the case”

William G. HealthPlanOptionsToday Healthcare Expert

Stephanie A., another representative at Health Plan Options Today, says there are other major issues that have shaped people’s ideas of access to health insurance, especially given the United States’ unemployment rate: “Many people have no idea how COBRA health insurance works, and a lot don’t even know it exists in the first place. They just think that if they lose their job due to COVID, there are no other insurance options available.” Stephanie echoes William’s optimism for Biden’s Plan: “I really hope that the people who lost their jobs and didn’t take advantage of COBRA use the special enrollment period to their advantage.”

Overall, there is generally support for Biden’s executive order, especially considering 2020’s historically short marketplace insurance enrollment period and low enrollment numbers. Many people who missed the original enrollment period will now have a second chance at enrolling for ACA-based plans in 2021. Perhaps William G. summed it up perfectly: “I think we can all agree that no matter what, a second chance is always nice.”

Are you insured? To get your own second chance at affordable health insurance, fill out the form below and one of our agents will contact you, or call us at 1-888-375-8879.

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Biden Reopens Obamacare Enrollment

Don’t Have Insurance? Here’s How Biden’s Executive Order Helps You

On January 28, with just a few quick strokes of his pen, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that changed the way many Americans access their health insurance temporarily, and may permanently change the way federal agencies- and by extension, healthcare companies everywhere- approach insurance.

President Biden’s executive order will reopen Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare enrollment for a special enrollment period between February 15th and May 15th- and not just for those who are eligible for COBRA or other special coverages. The order also demands that federal agencies review their policies to make sure that healthcare truly is affordable, and to ensure their policies do not block insurance access for those with preexisting conditions, including COVID-19. Biden’s order also urged these same agencies to make other changes that will “protect and strengthen” access to healthcare in the future.

Biden made a statement after the order’s signing, saying “As we continue to battle Covid-19, it’s even more critical that Americans have meaningful access to health care”.

This executive order follows former president Trump’s changes to the Affordable Care Act. In 2018, Trump shortened the ACA’s enrollment period from 92 days to 15, which caused new healthcare enrollment to drop drastically. Also notably, the Trump administration and several states attempted to kill the ACA in a case that’s still pending before the Supreme Court.

What Does Biden’s Executive Order Mean For You?

If you’re worried because you or your family don’t have health insurance during the Coronavirus pandemic, you have another chance to secure insurance through the ACA marketplace- even if you have lost your job, stopped paying your private health insurance, or both. This will come as especially good news to those who missed because last year’s enrollment period was so short.

What If I Want Other Healthcare Options or Miss the Healthcare Enrollment Period?

If you miss the new Health Care Enrollment period or if you would like other healthcare options beside the ACA marketplace, there are still other options available for you, such as private insurance. The team at Health Plan Options Today can help you examine options such as these.

If you have any other questions, need help picking the best health insurance plan for your needs or would like to enroll in health insurance, just fill out the short form below or give us a call at 1-888-375-8879 and we’ll help you get insurance at a rate you can afford.

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President Trump Tries to Bypass Obamacare

Never in my life did I ever think I would hear the following words: “The president’s support for killing Obamacare during the coronavirus pandemic shows a callous disregard for communities in crisis” (Jonathan Metzl, 2020). To catch up, the Affordable Health Care Act has been around for about a decade under President Obama’s decision to make it mandatory for Americans to all have health insurance. Though half of uninsured Americans denied themselves of potential coverage, the other half embraced it! It was a breath of fresh air to many who were without affordable health insurance.

But things change, and politics rule.

Now, in the midst of crisis and a pandemic we cannot seem to stop, President Trump has decided to call Obamacare a “disaster,” and said he wished to “terminate it.” This is not completely in context. Many Americans were (and still are) upset about being forced to pay a fine given they did not have the right coverage (Kaiser, 2020). It is a dual-edged sword: Americans did not embrace the ACA, but now that we need it the most it makes the most sense to use it. You would think this would lead to better health coverage, but that is not the case. Obamacare enrollment skyrocketed since Trump became President. But Trump has decided that now, of all times, is a good place to end the system.

Backing up to May 2020, Trump began the process of getting rid of the necessity of Obamacare, but in a time when Americans can barely afford the premiums, it seems as if the Affordable Healthcare Act is, as of now, quite useless. But the time and place to cancel this ethereal part of our history, in my opinion, is where the “wrong” begins. Aside from personal opinions and political orientations, let us examine this factually.

First, some statistics. 33 percent of White Americans (as of 2010) were without proper health coverage; 33 percent of Hispanics; and 20 percent for Black Americans. This accounts for a tremendous 46.5 million people who currently do not have the proper health coverage. This is ironically 18 percent of the nonelderly population.

 Then, the ACA began.

By 2016, 90 percent of Black Americans had health care, as one example, and many people claimed to have paid much less for prescriptions, to have less medical debt, and in turn, more security when something goes wrong. However, despite this progress, the Trump administration has spent three long years trying to eliminate it. Speculations are amidst. Many claim that it is a way of ridding us of the Obama era; others feel it is simply Trump’s way of cutting funds to a crucial problem.

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However, despite political boundaries, the main issue is not “why” we are cutting it. Rather, it is a question of: “what happens when it is cut?” The main issue seemed to be the cutting of advertising the program. Since Trump’s induction, there has been a 79 percent drop in community outreach, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In other words, though the ACA still exists, and most likely will continue to exist (one can only amend so much), the fact is many Americans have forgotten – especially in the midst of a pandemic – that Obamacare is an option. So, what happened last week?

The Trump administration “urged the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act.” Ironically, it was the same day that half a million Americans lost health insurance due to the economic shutdown, of which was meant to slow the COVID-19 spread. 20 million Americans can and have lost their health coverage, and according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “If President Trump gets his way, 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the ACA’s lifesaving protections and 23 million Americans will lose their health coverage entirely.”

Sound bad? Well, it really is.

When this case approached the Supreme Court, many conservative-led states did make their point that the ACA was “unconstitutional,” where fines are issued for not having proper health insurance. What many do not realize is, that was not meant to harm the American public. Rather, it was a way to incentivize the notion that without health insurance, one is subjected to potentially thousands of dollars during a routine visit. In turn, it was not meant to “punish” us, but rather to motivate us!

With due respect, Trump is not the monster they are making him out to be. However, he certainly is not making the health insurance game any easier. With so many Americans affected by the coronavirus, the loss of millions of jobs, and God knows what else, it seems the last thing we should be doing is cutting down on affordable care. Despite this, Trump has made sure we all know that those with preexisting conditions (i.e. an illness or a health issue that was made prior to the actual insurance policy) will still be protected, but how? That is the question many are currently asking, as though it was announced that Obamacare would be seeing changes, no mention of how to redeem its loss have come into earshot, leaving many stressed and without help.

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Now, the good news is since the loss of millions of jobs, around 487,000 people have been wise enough to sign up with HealthCare.gov, after the loss of workplace overage. It is a drastic increase of 46 percent since last year, and all we can do at this point is hope that an appeal is missed, or an executive order is ignored. Otherwise, the realm of health insurance will never quite be the same – if we allow it, that is. We can only hope…