After being mostly dismantled during the Trump presidency, President Biden’s administration is planning to expand the availability of coverage under the Affordable Care Act. According to the administration, the change will fix a “glitch” that disqualified over 5 million people from qualifying for health plans.

Under the new plan, families with health insurance through an employer will receive financial assistance paying for coverage. Additionally, households that spend 10% or more on health care insurance will not qualify for assistance.

Biden “will take additional action to further strengthen the ACA and save families hundreds of dollars a month on their health care,” the White House said. But Biden officials provided few details on how much the expansion would cost, or how it would be paid for.

Under the current guidelines of the program, “reasonable” employer-based health insurance is a disqualifying factor in applications for ACA assistance. Affordable has previously been defined as under 10% of income. 

However, this metric fails to account for the skyrocketing premiums for individual family members on the same plan, which have become an increasing burden on low-income households.

The proposed change would go into effect in January 2023.

The announcement comes as former President Barack Obama makes an in-person return to the White House for the first time since 2017.

The former president will “deliver remarks celebrating the success of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid in extending affordable health insurance to millions of Americans,” a White House official said.

The event is intended to draw attention to Biden’s domestic agenda, which has been marred by record-high inflation and a sluggish economic recovery, and overshadowed by Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

Do you agree with the changes or would you prefer a free-market option?