Modest gain seen for Obama’s last health care sign-up season
Facing new challenges to a legacy law, the Obama administration on Wednesday set modest expectations for the president’s final health care sign-up season. The biggest worry: rising premiums and dwindling choices. About 13.8 million people are expected to sign up for 2017 coverage, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said. That would be an increase of a bit less than 9 percent from the 12.7 million who picked plans during open enrollment for this year.
This year is shaping up to be the most difficult sign-up season since HealthCare.gov launched in 2013 and the computer system froze up. But technology isn’t the issue this time. Premiums are going up by double digits in many communties. Some major insurers have left the program, leaving consumers with fewer choices next year. The administration says taxpayer-provided subsidies designed to rise with premiums will cushion most of the pocketbook impact.