On Jan. 28, President Biden signed “Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act,” an executive order that will re-open federal exchanges for open enrollment from Feb. 15 to May 15. The order also includes directions for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review policies that:
- Undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including complications related to COVID-19;
- Contain demonstrations and waivers under Medicaid and the ACA that may reduce coverage or undermine the programs, including work requirements;
- Undermine the Health Insurance Marketplace or other markets for health insurance;
- Make it more difficult to enroll in Medicaid and the ACA; and
- Reduce affordability of coverage or financial assistance, including for dependents.
In 2020 NADP pressed both Congress and HHS for a special open enrollment period to allow individuals effected by the COVID-19 pandemic to purchase medical and dental coverage on the federal exchanges. Furthermore, NADP has also advocated that 1332 exchange waivers be used to protect and expand the availability of dental benefits.
Looking ahead, it is likely that this EO will spur changes to rules and guidance issued by the Trump Administration on Medicaid and the exchanges. NADP will continue to push HHS for improvements to the exchange platforms, including the independent purchase of dental plans and the restoration of funding to exchange navigator and marketing budgets.
For more information, contact Sr. Government Relations Analyst Owen Urech.