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President Biden speaks before signing executive orders on health care in January. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration will provide about $2.3 million to help bolster Affordable Care Act sign-ups in underserved communities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Monday.

Why it matters: This funding for ACA "navigators" who provide in-person enrollment assistance will help uninsured Americans take advantage of the special enrollment window that opens later this month.

The big picture: Funding for navigators and other outreach efforts was slashed under the Trump administration.

  • In addition to extending ACA enrollment through May 15, the Biden administration has pledged a $50 million advertising blitz to bolster public awareness.
  • Still, some navigators were worried they would not be able to accommodate any potential enrollment surges because they had already used their allotted funding for the original six-week sign-up period.

What they’re saying: “Navigators help Americans understand their health insurance options, connecting consumers with financial help, and help them enroll in Marketplace plans, Medicaid, or CHIP,” said Jeff Wu, CMS acting seputy Administrator, said in a statement.

  • “During a public health emergency, it is critical for consumers to have access assistance with finding affordable, comprehensive health coverage that best fits their needs.”

Go deeper

22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

National parks "drowning in tourists"

Expand chart
Data: National Park Service; note: Gateway National Recreation Area is excluded due to missing data in 2021. Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

National Parks across the U.S. are overflowing with a post-pandemic crush of tourists, leading to increased issues with congestion, traffic jams, user experience, strain on staff and increased damage to the parks.

Why it matters: Some are seeing such a record number they're being forced to limit, and even close, access to certain areas to avoid the danger of eroding the land. The result, ultimately, could change the way Americans interact with the parks going forward.

Why Mark Zuckerberg is going meta

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Michaela Handrek-Rehle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook's "next chapter," Mark Zuckerberg says, is to be prime builder of "the metaverse" — an open, broadly distributed, 3D dimension online where, he says, we will all conduct much of our work and personal lives.

The big picture: Zuckerberg admits Facebook will only be one of many companies building this next-generation model of today's internet — but he also intends Facebook to lead the pack.

22 mins ago - Health

The new mask logic

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Biden administration is essentially asking vaccinated Americans to help save the unvaccinated from themselves.

The big picture: America's "pandemic of the unvaccinated" has gotten bad enough that vaccine mandates are starting to catch on, and masks are coming back — in some cases, even for the vaccinated.