WASHINGTON — More than 200,000 people signed up for health coverage in the first two weeks after President Joe Biden re-opened HealthCare.gov as part of his coronavirus response, the government said Wednesday.
The solid start to the three-month special enrollment period indicates a pent-up demand for health insurance as the COVID-19 pandemic approaches the one-year mark and many people remain unemployed or unable to work as many hours as they did before the outbreak.
Enrollment during this extension period has been strong, 206,236 according to the administration, which is about three times higher than the last two weeks in February 2020.
The regular enrollment period begins in November, and for the first half of November 2020, 1.6 million Americans signed up for ACA health plans. Typically, the window closes before the end of the year and those wanting to sign up have to qualify because of a major life change, like the birth of a child, losing a job or moving.
“These numbers are an encouraging sign — but we can’t slow down until every American has the security and peace of mind that quality, affordable health coverage provides," Biden said in a statement from the White House Wednesday. “If you already have coverage, you can help family members and friends who are uninsured get themselves covered.”
The extended sign-up opportunity for subsidized private health plans remains open through May 15.
To learn more about eligibility and what plans are offered, head to HealthCare.gov.