According to usatoday.com, the Biden administration is extending a special opportunity for people to sign up for government-subsidized health insurance through the federally run marketplace, commonly referred to as as Obamacare.
The special enrollment period will no longer end May 15 but extend to Aug. 15 to give people more time to take advantage of the expanded subsidies included in the recently passed $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
The package increased the subsidies already available to people who don’t receive health insurance from an employer or through a government plan like Medicare or Medicaid.
The package also makes the subsidies newly available for people earning more than four times the federal poverty level, which is about $51,520 for a single person.
Additionally, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, insurance premiums will decrease an average of $50 a month per person, but some people could possibly save several hundred dollars each month. The savings are available starting April 1.
President Joe Biden made the announcement yesterday on the 11th anniversary of the day former President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law.
“[O]n this anniversary, we should remember just how close we have come to losing that act we so fought so hard for,” Biden said during an event in Ohio. “And we have a duty not just to protect it, but to make it better and keep becoming a nation where healthcare is a right for all and not a privilege for a few.”
People who already have insurance through an exchange can either apply the new subsidies to their existing plan to lower their monthly payments or can switch plans. Switching could allow someone to buy a plan with a much lower deductible, with the higher subsidy covering that plan’s higher premium.