President Biden’s Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the ACA

Feb 7, 2021

What happened?


On Jan. 28, President Biden signed this executive order, which was quickly followed by an announcement from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Due to the CMS announcement, the federal health insurance marketplace ( will reopen from Feb. 15 to Mar. 15 for new and existing applicants as a special enrollment period for the individual health marketplace. The Jan. 28 executive order also repealed two of former President Donald Trump’s executive orders that focused on healthcare.

To bolster the ACA and Medicaid, the executive order also directed federal agencies to review all of their existing guidelines to determine whether they undermine the ACA.

How are PA/NJ affected by this executive order? 


The reopening of new applications and existing applications for the federal health marketplace applies to the 36 states that use New Jersey and Pennsylvania utilize their own platforms for state-based exchanges. These jurisdictions may either: follow the new federal policy, keep existing enrollment dates or develop new enrollment policies.


What executive orders were repealed?


The executive order signed on Jan. 28 repealed the following healthcare-related executive orders: 13765 and 13813. Executive Order 13765, signed by Trump in Jan. 2017, directed all federal agencies to relax their enforcement of ACA requirements. Executive Order 13813, signed by Trump in Oct. 2017, instituted the following changes, which are currently be reviewed and may potentially be rescinded:

  • Led to the creation of individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements (ICHRAs) and expected benefit health reimbursement arrangements
  • Change in policy regarding short-term limited-duration health insurance plans
  • Creation of a new association health plan option for group purchasers (currently on hold due to a pending federal court case)

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