With the first part of 2021 coming to an interesting close, some more health care changes are coming our way. President Biden has decided as of 1.28.2021 to reopen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and expand upon its unique features.

Biden signed executive orders Thursday to expand upon the ACA to not only strengthen the healthcare system but give the people more options on affordability and to protect reproductive rights. This executive order along with several others, will open enrollment of healthcare through the federal marketplace for those who desired healthcare coverage but were unable to obtain it due to the pandemic or other financial situations. A special enrollment period for 36 states is set to begin February 15 and run until May 15 2021. This enrollment is for those who are seeking affordable Obamacare policies.

Among other things 2021 has brought, Medicare gets a bolster in doctors from a law recently passed by Congress. Because of the pandemic and shortage of physicians, Congress passed a law creating an additional 1,000 medical positions over the next 5 years and Medicare will fund the positions offering training in emergency medicine and specialties to help relieve the surge of medical professions needed since the pandemic.

Another thing that is changing this 2021 is the ‘gag’ clause between health insurers and providers in their contracts. These sort of ‘gag’ restrictions have previously prevented insurers and health plans from sharing information regarding a provider’s prices for services or the quality of their services with patients, employers, etc. This new legislation also stops insurers from agreeing to contracts which prevent them from getting access electronically to claims and other pieces of information from providers on behalf of the enrollees.