In Virtual Discussion with NH Health Care Advocates, Shaheen Urges Granite Staters to Sign Up for Coverage during ACA Special Enrollment Period

March 01, 2021

Shaheen Highlights New Legislation to Lower Health Care Costs & Expand Access to Care 

3.1.21 ACA enrollment event

Shaheen listens to health care advocates discuss the importance of signing up for affordable health care coverage through the Special Health Insurance Enrollment Period announced by President Biden   

(Manchester, NH) – This morning, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted a virtual meeting with Protect Our Care, Covering NH and health care advocates to highlight the 2021 Special Health Insurance Enrollment Period that was announced by President Biden in January. Shaheen also discussed her new legislation, the Improving Health Insurance Affordability Act, which would expand coverage to more than 4 million Americans who are currently uninsured and reduce premiums and deductibles for millions of additional individuals who already have coverage, which is especially critical amid the pandemic.

The Special Enrollment Period runs until May 15th. Consumers can go to HealthCare.gov to review their options and enroll in coverage.

The discussion can be viewed here.

“As our nation continues to combat the COVID-19 crisis, ensuring American families have access to affordable health care coverage has never been more important. President Biden’s action to reopen health care enrollment through the Affordable Care Act will serve as a lifeline to the millions of Americans who lack health care coverage at this critical time,” said Senator Shaheen. “I was glad to join New Hampshire health care advocates this morning to help spread the word about the new special enrollment period to Granite Staters and discuss my new legislation that would help more families access affordable care. Let’s be clear: health care is a right, not a privilege. I’ll continue to work in Congress and with the Biden administration to ensure all Americans are able to access quality, affordable health care coverage they need.”

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to ensure all Granite Staters and Americans have access to affordable health care coverage. As a result of the economic upheaval created by the crisis, millions of American workers have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance. In total, over 30 million Americans currently lack health care coverage. By reopening enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, President Biden’s decision, which follows Shaheen’s repeated calls, will allow millions of Americans to access affordable, lifesaving health care amid the pandemic.

During the event, Shaheen highlighted tax credits and other financial assistance that may be available to help Granite State families pay for monthly premiums and deductibles. She also underscored the importance of protecting the health care law from ongoing Republican efforts to sabotage and strike it down. Last November, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in California v. Texas, a partisan lawsuit led by 18 attorneys general that calls for the entire ACA to be declared unconstitutional. Shaheen heard from health care advocates like Lisa Beaudoin, the Executive Director of Able NH, who underwent multiple surgeries to repair catastrophic injuries suffered after being struck by a distracted driver and would have been unable to afford her treatments and subsequent rehabilitation sessions without the ACA. Pepper Nappo-Mead also shared her story about how before the ACA, she was unable to get health care coverage due to having preexisting conditions. Shaheen has fought to protect the health care law and strengthen and expand access to health care for Granite Staters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to protect and improve the ACA, including leading all 47 Senate Democrats on a Senate resolution that would reverse the Department of Justice’s decision to side with U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling that would strike down the health care law. This health care sabotage could result in 133 million Americans losing protections for pre-existing conditions, millions more Americans without health insurance, soaring prescription drug costs for seniors, and nearly 90,000 Granite Staters losing health care coverage. Senator Shaheen also spearheaded Senate Democrats’ proposal to make health care affordable and accessible for Americans during the COVID-19 public health emergency. She introduced the Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower (MORE) Health Education Act of 2019 with Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Gary Peters (D-MI) to counteract the Trump administration’s sabotage efforts that slashed funding for health care enrollment advertising and marketing by 90 percent after Donald Trump took office. She also introduced the Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act with Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to prevent the former Trump administration from using federal premium tax credits to promote and incentivize enrollment in “junk plans” that do not provide coverage of pre-existing conditions or essential health benefits. Shaheen, Baldwin and Warner called on the last administration to do more to prevent third-party web brokers from steering individuals toward these junk health insurance plans.