President Biden signed an executive order (EO) that will reopen HealthCare.gov—the federal health insurance exchange—for a special, three-month enrollment period starting on February 15, 2021. The Association for Clinical Oncology (the Association) applauds this decision, which was a recommendation in American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (the Society’s) Road to Recovery Report: Learning from the COVID-19 Experience to Improve Clinical Research and Cancer Care. Reopening the federal health insurance exchange will help provide coverage to the millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Society’s report, which makes comprehensive recommendations to guide the cancer community’s eventual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizes the need for greater access to health insurance and patient assistance for out-of-pocket health care costs given the estimated 6.2 million people have lost their employer-based insurance because of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
The EO applies only to the federal exchange. States that use state-based exchanges may or may not chose to re-open enrollment. Open enrollment in health insurance exchanges typically occurs from November 1 through December 15 each year.