ACA enrollment extended: What you need to know

Through changes in the American Rescue Plan, you might also qualify for reduced or zero premiums

ACA enrollment extended: What you need to know
What you need to know about ACA extended enrollment. (Source: Gray DC)

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Millions of uninsured people are newly eligible for health coverage through the federal exchange, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

“President Biden made a very direct promise to the American people,” Becerra said. “He was going to increase access to affordable health care for all Americans. And he’s delivered.”

It was delivered through the American Rescue Plan, the COVID aid bill President Biden signed into law last month. It changed who is eligible for tax credits that can help lower monthly premiums. Some may even qualify for no premium. Click here to see if you’ll be able to save money with the changes.

In one of his first executive orders in office, President Biden also opened a special enrollment period. It’s now extended through August 15. Becerra said 500,000 people have signed up so far.

“We want people to recognize that health care is in your reach.” Becerra said.

So how can you find out if you’re eligible for coverage or lower premiums? Create an account at healthcare.gov. You can see what your options are without committing to a plan.

If you need help signing up, you can find a certified navigator nearby.

One of those navigators is SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging in Springfield, Mo. The agency has been helping people sign up for ACA coverage since 2013.

“A lot of the folks we assist -- they’re lower income, they’re going to qualify for the assistance,” said Alex Cobb from SeniorAge. “But...a lot of times they’re unfamiliar with computers.”

For some people, that’s even helping them to create an email address so they can set up their account.

Cobb wants people to know — even if you signed up during open enrollment last year — log on again to see if any of the changes benefit you.

“It’s likely going to result that they’re going to receive more assistance,” Cobb said.

Multimedia Journalist Natalie Grim contributed to this report.

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