Story at a glance

  • Government data shows 206,236 users signed up for public health insurance in February 2021.
  • Enrollment has been expanded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon the 11-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being signed into law, more than 200,000 Americans have opted to sign up for health insurance under public health care, according to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

That’s up from 76,000 and 60,000 seen during the first two weeks of open enrollment in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Experts attribute this to an expansion in the eligibility terms of the Special Enrollment Period (SEP); during 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration expanded the SEP to all Americans to insure themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than only allowing special enrollment for those with qualifying life events.


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From Feb. 15-28, 206,236 Americans chose to enroll in new plan selections. The jump in prospective beneficiaries is further represented by a total of more than 3.1 million online HealthCare.gov users recorded during this timeframe.

Some of the states that saw a high volume of enrollments in new plan selection include Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia, although sharp increases were reported across each of the 36 states that use HealthCare.gov as a platform for the 2021 coverage year. This is part of a broader pattern than has continued since 2019.

The ACA, often referred to as Obamacare, was signed into law 11 years ago. President Biden campaigned extensively on protecting and building upon the ACA by issuing tax credits to lower premiums for lower-income Americans and expanding Medicaid across the country, among other plans.   

Public health care open enrollment continues until May 15, 2021.


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Published on Mar 22, 2021