New enrollment period for health care plans begins Monday

  • Signups for the Affordable Care Act begin Sunday, Nov. 1.

Monitor staff
Published: 2/12/2021 6:36:57 PM

A new enrollment period for health insurance under the federal Marketplace will start Monday.

Enrollment periods under the Affordable Care Act usually end by mid-winter but President Biden has re-opened it for three months in response to cutbacks to the ACA under former President Trump.

Trump had reduced the signup period for insurance by half, to just six weeks. It ended Dec. 15. Despite that cutback more people in New Hampshire signed up for insurance through the federal Marketplace than in the year prior: 46,684 in 2020, as compared to 44,581 in 2019. Officials attributed this increase at least partly to job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Special Enrollment Period for individuals and families starts Monday will run through May 15. It allows people with Marketplaces served by the platform to enroll in 2021 for health insurance coverage, either by submitting a new application or updating an existing application.

Three insurance companies are offering individual plans on the New Hampshire Marketplace: Anthem, Ambetter from NH Healthy Families, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. 

Trump campaigned on pledges to eliminate the ACA, often called Obamacare, and during his presidency weakened a number of its elements.

When Biden reopened the enrollment period, his executive order also directed federal agencies to reexamine all those actions with an eye to potentially undoing them, saying the order was designed “basically, the best way to describe them, to undo the damage Trump has done."

Among other things, Biden said agencies should review measures that make it more difficult to enroll in Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, those which reduced financial assistance, including for dependents.

As vice president under President Obama, Biden had championed the creation of the Affordable Care Act.

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