The ACA marketplace is open again for insurance sign-ups. Here's what you need to know.

FILE - This Nov. 29, 2013 file photo shows part of the HealthCare.gov website, photographed in Washington. President Barack Obama’s fickle health insurance website is finally starting to put up some respectable signup numbers, but its job only seems to have gotten harder. Two months in and out of the repair shop have left significantly less time to fulfill the White House goal of enrolling 7 million people for 2014 by the end of open enrollment March 31. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

For people who've been without health insurance during the pandemic, extra relief is now available.

In January, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to open up the federal health insurance marketplace for three months, starting last week, so uninsured people can buy a plan and those who want to change their marketplace coverage can do so.

Consumer advocates applauded the directive. Since 2016, the number of Americans without health insurance has been on the rise, reaching 30 million in 2019. The economic upheaval caused by the novel coronavirus has made a bad situation worse, throwing millions off their insurance plans.

The move is in stark contrast to the Trump administration's approach. As COVID-19 took hold last spring and the economy imploded, health experts pleaded with the Trump administration to open up the federal marketplace so people could buy insurance to protect themselves during the worst public health emergency in a century.