The number of Americans who have signed up for health care coverage during the Biden administration’s HealthCare.gov special enrollment period is approaching 1 million as premiums have dropped thanks to funds from the American Rescue Plan.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday that nearly 940,000 Americans have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act portal. President Joe Biden signed an executive order in January to reopen the HealthCare.gov portal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Families and individuals are signing up for high-quality insurance that the American Rescue Plan made more affordable,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Across America there is a need and demand for high-quality, low-cost health insurance. That’s why we are doing all we can to reach people who need coverage.”
The HHS secretary added that Americans who need health coverage as soon as June 1 “should visit HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov today to see what health plans are available to them."
Becerra also recorded a video message celebrating the milestone while visiting Columbus, Ohio, to meet with community leaders, health care providers and patients about Biden’s $1.8 trillion “human infrastructure” spending proposal, the American Families Plan.
HHS noted that premiums have dropped by more than 40% on average for nearly 2 million current HealthCare.gov enrollees thanks to tax credits thanks to the American Rescue Plan. On average, monthly premiums fell from $100 to $57.
“For new consumers selecting plans during the SEP, after increased tax credits the average monthly premium fell over 25 percent, from $117 for those enrolling from February 15 through March 31 to $86 for those enrolling in April,” HHS said. “The ARP also helped to lower out of pocket spending costs for new consumers. The median deductible for new consumers during the SEP fell by nearly 90 percent, from $450 prior to April 1 to $50 as consumers used their increased tax credits from the ARP to choose plans with lower out-of-pocket costs.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., celebrated the milestone and encouraged “everyone to visit HealthCare.gov to find a plan that works for you and your family.”
The Biden Administration’s special enrollment period runs through Aug. 15, 2021.