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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

Tech's war for your wrist

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech's biggest companies are ramping up competition for the real estate between your hand and your elbow.

The big picture: The next big hardware platform after the smartphone will likely involve devices for your eyes, your ears and your wrists.

1 hour ago - World

Tokyo Olympics to allow up to 10,000 fans at each event

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto (L) and IOC President Thomas Bach on Monday. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics said Monday that venues can be filled up to 50% capacity when the Games kick off on July 23, with a maximum of 10,000 Japanese spectators at each event, AP reports.

Why it matters: Medical experts advising the Japanese government had recommended against allowing fans, citing the low vaccination rates in Japan and the potential for new variants to drive up infections.

1 hour ago - Health

The psychology behind COVID-19 vaccine lotteries

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NBA season tickets. Scholarships. A chance at $5 million. The list of lotteries and raffles states are launching to drive up COVID-19 vaccination rates is growing, and some local officials are already reporting "encouraging" results.

Driving the news: The reason why, some psychologists and public health experts say, is that the allure of lotteries for many people is simply that the prospect of winning a great prize seems better than passing up the chance, regardless of the odds.