Over 500,000 people sign up for ObamaCare in special sign-up period

Over 500,000 people sign up for ObamaCare in special sign-up period
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Over 500,000 people have signed up for ObamaCare coverage in an extra enrollment period created by the Biden administration, officials said Wednesday.

The Department of Health and Human Services said 528,000 people signed up for health insurance between Feb. 15 and March 31, in what is known as a special enrollment period, an extra sign-up period beyond the regular yearly window, aimed at people who needed coverage because of the upheaval caused by COVID-19.

The Trump administration last year declined to open an extra sign-up period, noting that people who lost job-based coverage were already eligible to enroll, but President BidenJoe BidenMarcus Garvey's descendants call for Biden to pardon civil rights leader posthumously GOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors MORE opened an extra period this year upon taking office.

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The sign-up period is still going, lasting until Aug. 15, meaning that there is the opportunity for the number to climb higher.

The sign-ups come on top of the 8.2 million people who signed up during the regular enrollment period last fall.

The numbers apply to the 36 states using the federal healthcare.gov platform, meaning that there are additional people signed up in the 14 states running their own systems.

As of April 1, additional financial assistance is available to help reduce ObamaCare premiums, part of the $1.9 trillion relief package Biden signed in March.

“Now, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, health care coverage is more affordable and millions of Americans are seeing their premiums reduced,” HHS Secretary Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's pre-debate COVID-19 test sparks criticism Biden unveils updated strategy to end HIV epidemic by 2030 Buttigieg has high name recognition, favorability rating in Biden Cabinet: survey MORE said in a statement touting the sign-up numbers. “At HHS, we are going to build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and work tirelessly to ensure Americans have the chance to sign up for quality, affordable health care coverage that meets their needs.”