Health insurance can be complicated. Enrollment periods, premiums, deductibles, and plan selection are confusing, if not overwhelming.
Right now the Biden Administration is considering new rules to make it easier to enroll in health insurance and to provide additional consumer assistance to help people understand and use their health insurance.
Add your voice to support these proposals and urge the Biden Administration to go even further to make it easier to enroll in and get the most out of health insurance.
Issue #1 - Expanded Enrollment Opportunities
Under current rules, people only have 45 days (November 1 through December 15) to sign up for health plans at HealthCare.gov. The Biden Administration is proposing to extend the deadline to January 15. Urge the Administration to extend the deadline even further to allow more people to sign up and choose the health plan that best meets their needs.
The Administration also has proposed giving low-income people additional chances to sign up for health coverage during the year. Millions of people, especially people of color, younger adults, and individuals who speak a language other than English at home, do not have health insurance coverage. They may actually qualify for no-cost health insurance, but do not enroll because the process is complicated or because they miss a deadline. Urge the Biden Administration to reduce the number of uninsured by giving more people a special enrollment period (SEP) so they can enroll in health insurance at any time.
Issue #2 - Support for Navigator Programs
The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Navigator program provides no-cost assistance, both in person and over the phone, to people seeking to apply for health coverage. However, the Trump Administration drastically cut funding for the program and reduced its scope. The Biden Administration has already dramatically increased Navigator funding, and this rule would restore Navigators’ roles in helping consumers with post-enrollment activities like learning complicated health insurance terms, understanding how to research a health plan’s drug formularies and provider networks, filing appeals, and finding help with tax filing.
Let the Biden Administration know how important Navigators are, both in enrolling people in coverage and in helping them understand how to use their coverage. If you have worked as a Navigator, or have been helped by a Navigator, share your story!
Issue #3 - Make Sure People Do Not Lose Health Coverage
The ACA allows states to deviate from the ACA through waivers (called Section 1332 waivers). However, the Trump Administration rolled back ACA protections (or “guardrails”) in the types of waivers that could be approved and allowed states to adopt waivers that would reduce enrollment in affordable and comprehensive coverage. These changes could result in many people being enrolled in high-cost plans that do not meet their health needs and could increase the number of uninsured and underinsured.
The proposed rule would raise the standards for approval, as intended in the ACA. Urge the Biden Administration to finalize their proposal to restore the guardrails and establish strong protections so that states can’t decide to take away coverage or force people into plans with higher out-of-pocket costs under Section 1332 waivers.
Your Comments Can Help!
We’ve provided a sample comment, but your personal story will be more impactful!
For more information, see:
- Video: Why Your Care Counts
- Do My Comments Really Matter? Demystifying the Public Comment Process, Mara Youdelman, National Health Law Program, August 1, 2019