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Greek CommunityHHS Announces Plans to Connect More Americans to Voter Registration Resources on...

HHS Announces Plans to Connect More Americans to Voter Registration Resources on HealthCare.Gov Following Sarbanes, Pallone Letter

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced plans to expand access to voter registration resources within the application process for enrolling in health insurance coverage through the federal HealthCare.Gov marketplace. This new proposed regulatory action follows a letter Congressman Sarbanes and Ranking Member Frank Pallone led all Energy & Commerce Committee Democrats in sending to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on February 20, 2024 urging the Department to further the goals of President Biden’s Executive Order 10419, Promoting Access to Voting, and leverage its opportunity to connect millions of Americans to additional voter registration opportunities.

On March 6, 2024, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided notice in the Federal Register of its planned revision to its existing eligibility determination and application process for individuals seeking federal marketplace coverage on HealthCare.Gov. Under CMS’s proposed action, consumers would be asked if they are interested in registering to vote before submitting an eligibility determination application to CMS. Those who answer “yes” would then be directed to Vote.Gov and connected to additional voter registration resources and election information. The proposed revision is open for public comment for 60 days.

“This year’s historic enrollment season – which saw 16.4 million Americans enroll in federal marketplace plans – demonstrated the tremendous opportunity HHS has to use its reach to provide Americans of all backgrounds with the tools to participate in our democracy,” said Congressman Sarbanes, Task Force on Strengthening Democracy Co-Chair. “I am pleased that, following Committee Democrats’ letter, the Department is taking action to robustly uphold its commitment to expand voter registration opportunities under President Biden’s Executive Order and help forge a healthier democracy and more equitable society for all.”

“I strongly support the Biden Administration’s ongoing work to increase access to voter registration services,” Ranking Member Pallone said. “There is a direct relationship between the health of a democracy and its people. I’m grateful to Congressman Sarbanes for helping to lead the way to ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health care as well the resources and support they need to register to vote.”

Out of the more than 16 million Americans who enrolled in marketplace plans during the 2023 open enrollment period, nearly 10 million submitted an application for health insurance or made changes to their coverage options using the federal HealthCare.gov platform. This number of individuals interacting with the federal platform has been increasing annually and can be expected to rise again in final 2024 open enrollment data given this year’s historic enrollment of 21.3 million Americans, 16.4 million enrolled in a federal marketplace plan.

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By including voter resources directly within its enrollment process, HHS has a unique opportunity to reach a large share of low- to moderate-income individuals, including many who live in states that have imposed barriers to efficient voter registration. Since data show the positive correlation between the health of a democracy and the health of its population, strong execution of HHS’s commitment to the Executive Order will also support and further the Department’s efforts to forge a healthier, more equitable and inclusive America. In addition to updating its application process, CMS is also including a link to Vote.gov in its initial communications to all individuals enrolled in federal marketplace plans for 2024.

The full letter with signatures can be found here.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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