March 23 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is extending the Affordable Care Act special enrollment period until Aug. 15, as he marked the anniversary of the healthcare law on a trip to Ohio.
Biden said the extension was one of the benefits of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. He made the remarks during a visit to the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at Ohio State University as part of a tour highlighting the benefits of the legislation.
"With the American Rescue Plan and the Affordable Care Act, millions of families will be able to sleep a little bit more soundly at night because they don't have to worry about losing everything if they get sick," he said.
In addition to the extension, consumers will have access to additional savings through the HealthCare.gov marketplace, decreasing premiums by $50 per person per month and $85 per policy per month on average beginning April 1, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.
"Through this Special Enrollment Period, the Biden administration is giving the American people the chance they need to find an affordable health care plan that works for them," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said. "The American Rescue Plan will bring costs down for millions of Americans and I encourage consumers to visit HealthCare.gov and sign up for a plan before August 15."
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law by former President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
As Obama's vice president, Biden played a key role in the passage of the landmark healthcare law on Capitol Hill.
Among other things, Biden's American Rescue Plan expands eligibility for premium subsidies for those buying ACA coverage, makes other adjustments to lower costs and expands Medicaid coverage for low-income Americans.
He said the cancer center was able to expand due to a $100 million grant in the Affordable Care Act as well as research funding it received under the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot, allowing it to treat 300 patients a day, up from 60-70.
"This place is a source of hope," Biden said. "When I ran I said I wanted to be the president who would preside over the end of cancer as we know it. When we see the strides we've made, you talk to the docs and the researchers, I can tell you it's within our reach."
The trip was part of Biden's "Help is Here" tour promoting the rescue plan, which includes billions to increase vaccinations, help schools reopen, state and local governments recover and provide healthcare to vulnerable Americans.