February 2, 2021

Biden Announcement re: Health Insurance Access and Equity

 NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 28, 2020

Get Covered 2021 Coalition Applauds President Biden’s Executive Order Enacting a National Special
Enrollment Period to Provide Americans with Access to Health Insurance

 • President Joe Biden has moved aggressively to address COVID-19 and provide access to quality 

affordable health coverage. His Executive Order enacting a Special Enrollment Period from Feb. 15
through May 15 linked to vitally important marketing investments is critical to reach those who are
uninsured.

• An estimated 16 million Americans are uninsured right now, even though they are eligible for
financial help through their Affordable Care Act marketplace, or free coverage through Medicaid.

• There are 6.8 million uninsured but eligible for marketplace financial assistance living in 36
Federally-Facilitated Exchange states. The previous administration failed to prioritize outreach
and educate Americans living in these states, which resulted in 1.8 million fewer new enrollee
sign-ups in 2020 than was the case in 2016.

• Now is not the time to be sick and uninsured. The President’s Order, combined with action by
State-Based Exchanges demonstrates a national commitment to helping people who need coverage the
opportunity to get covered right now.

 

WASHINGTON DC – COVID-19 has magnified the importance of affordable insurance and accessible health
care throughout America to help those who are uninsured as well as the many people who have lost
coverage due to the related economic fallout. Get Covered 2021, a broad and diverse national
coalition of states, bipartisan elected leaders, consumer and patient groups, health care providers
and celebrity ambassadors applauds President Joe
Biden’s decisive COVID-19 response, which included an Executive Order today declaring a Special
Enrollment Period that reopens federal marketplaces from Feb. 15 through May 15. This action is
critical and will reverse declines due to the prior administration’s lack of commitment to
Americans living in those states that relied on the federal government to promote enrollment.

 
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Following are reactions from Get Covered 2021 co-chairs and coalition members:

“This is the right thing to do, and reflects a sea-change with the Biden administration proactively
leaning in and prioritizing COVID-19 safety and health care coverage for all Americans,” said Get
Covered 2021 Co-Chair and Executive Director of Covered California Peter
V. Lee. “The previous administration did nothing to promote coverage for the millions of Americans
living in the states that relied on the federal government, which resulted in 1.8 million fewer new
enrollee sign-ups in 2020 than was the case in 2016. The new administration is taking decisive
action out-of-the-gate to show they are committed to using all the tools of the Affordable Care
Act, and aggressively investing in marketing and outreach to get more Americans covered.”

“Reopening the doors for millions of Americans to get coverage has perhaps never been more
important than it is right now,” said Laura Packard, Get Covered 2021 Co-Chair and Executive
Director of Get America Covered. “We want to ensure that as many Americans as possible have access
to quality care and health insurance so that they can get healthy and stay healthy.”

“No one should wait to enroll in health insurance,” said Carrie Banahan, Get Covered 2021 Co- Chair
and Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for the Commonwealth of
Kentucky. “Protect your health and tell your family and friends so we can make sure everyone across
the country has health insurance during this pandemic and beyond.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Americans from all walks of life, but communities of color are
twice as likely to become infected,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director of the
American Public Health Association. “Now more than ever it’s essential for everyone to have access
to care, and that starts with having health insurance. We thank the Biden administration for their
leadership, and for making health equity a priority, both in the fight against COVID-19 and for the
general health and wellbeing of all Americans.”

"As part of our longstanding support for meaningful insurance coverage for all patients, the AMA
supported passage of the Affordable Care Act, and we are pleased by the Biden administration
actions today to bolster access,” said Susan R. Bailey, MD, President of the American Medical
Association. “Opening the ACA exchanges provides a crucial lifeline at a time when people are
losing insurance because of job layoffs as a result of the pandemic. We also applaud the
administration’s move to eliminate barriers to Medicaid enrollment, which will repair holes in the
health care safety net. Taken together, these actions will restore coverage to patients who are
victims of the economic fallout of the pandemic."

“We commend the administration for giving families nationwide the opportunity to enroll in quality,
affordable coverage while also investing in outreach and enrollment programs,” said Nancy Brown,
CEO of the American Heart Association.“Having health insurance can mean the difference between life
or death for someone at risk for cardiovascular disease. The COVID-19 pandemic, which poses
elevated health risks for people with CVD and other chronic conditions

 
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and may lead to heart attacks and stroke in people who have had the virus, makes it especially
important to be covered.”

“Every American deserves access to health coverage, yet millions remain uninsured,” said Rick
Pollack, President and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “We simply need to do better in
addressing this basic human need, particularly during a global pandemic. By reopening enrollment in
the Health Insurance Marketplaces, the Biden administration is helping more Americans get and stay
covered.”

The special enrollment period, which will serve the 36 states with federally facilitated
marketplaces, will give all Americans more time to sign up for health care coverage without needing
to meet the normal qualifying life events Feb. 15 through May 15. The executive order also
announced that the federal government will resume investing in marketing and outreach which will
help Americans understand their insurance options and get enrolled.

Get Covered 2021 is supported by national health leaders, health care providers, celebrities and a
bipartisan array of elected officials. These groups and individuals have reached more than 200
million people through a national social media blitz campaign, promoting the message that financial
help is available for millions of Americans to make coverage affordable by sharing the website
GetCovered2021.org (where consumers can be linked directly to enrollment help) and using the
hashtag #GetCovered2021.

Get Covered 2021 coalition members include the American Public Health Association, American Heart
Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Hospital
Association, America’s Physician Groups, American Cancer Society, Mental Health America, National
Hispanic Medical Association, the Service Employees International Union, American Federation of
Teachers, National Association of Community Health Centers and many more, along with 16 states, the
District of Columbia and Get Covered America.

A diverse array of celebrity and athlete ambassadors have also joined on in support, including AJ
Andrews, Odell Beckham Jr., Beth Behrs, Tanner Buchanan, Caron Butler, Shilique Calhoun, Charlie
Carver, Max Carver, Stephen Curry, Freddy Galvis, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Hamill, Ken Jeong, George
Lopez, Danielle Macdonald, Angel McCoughtry, Alyssa Milano, Bill Pullman, CC Sabathia, Sarah
Silverman, George Takei, Bradley Whitford and James Wilks. Ambassadors have provided their support
using their unique platforms to educate and encourage people across the country to get covered.

Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can visit
www.GetCovered2021.org or www.Healthcare.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mitch.Zak@GetCovered2021.org

Attachment – Uninsured But Eligible for Financial Help or Medicaid

GetCovered2021.org (where consumers can be linked directly to enrollment help) and using the hashtag #GetCovered2021. Get Covered 2021 coalition members include the American Public Health Association, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, America’s Physician Groups, American Cancer Society, Mental Health America, National Hispanic Medical Association, the Service Employees International

Union, American Federation of Teachers, National Association of Community Health Centers and many more, along with 16 states, the District of Columbia and Get Covered America.