Washington – More than 200,000 Americans have signed up for the HealthCare.gov health insurance system in the two weeks since President Joe Biden resumed the initiative as part of the national response to the coronavirus pandemic, the government reported Wednesday.
This is a strong start to the three-month special enrollment period, indicating that there is a pent-up demand for health insurance, as the COVID-19 pandemic nears its first birthday and many people remain unemployed or they cannot work as many hours as they did before the health crisis.
HealthCare.gov offers subsidized health coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed during the presidency of Barack Obama and aimed primarily at low-income individuals.RELATED
If Congress passes Biden’s proposed bailout package, financial assistance to citizens will increase dramatically and more middle-class citizens will be able to qualify for the aid. Although the subsidies will last until the end of next year, their increased availability may increase the proportion of people with health coverage. The proposal also includes incentives for regional governments to expand the Medicaid assistance program.
The strategy is part of Biden’s goal of bringing health coverage to the entire population through an expansion of the law, known as “Obamacare” because it was signed into law by then-President Barack Obama. The Congressional Budget Affairs Office estimates that some 33 million Americans lack health insurance, despite the fact that Obamacare was passed more than a decade ago.
Figures released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show that more than 206,000 people signed up for the government program between February 15 and February 28. The numbers are partial, covering only the 36 states that have HealthCare.gov. There will be more reliable figures once those for states offering their own services are released.
HealthCare.gov will accept applications until May 15, a period twice as long as the regular annual enrollment window. The government has an advertising budget of $ 50 million, five times what it had under President Donald Trump.
Trump tried unsuccessfully to repeal “Obamacare” and refused to accept new registrations, even after the onset of the pandemic. Biden’s program places particular emphasis on Hispanic and black communities, particularly hard hit by the disease.