Fed­eral mar­ket­place sign-ups down 400,000 dur­ing open en­roll­ment

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

A lit­tle more than 1.9 mil­lion peo­ple signed up for health in­sur­ance in the first three weeks of the Af­ford­able Care Act open en­roll­ment for 2019 cov­er­age. That com­pares with al­most 2.3 mil­lion dur­ing the first three weeks of open en­roll­ment last year, which in­cluded an ad­di­tional day.

Amer­i­cans are sign­ing up for cov­er­age through the fed­eral mar­ket­place at a slower rate this year, but the CMS num­bers don’t in­clude en­roll­ment in states that op­er­ate their own ex­changes. It also does not in­clude those who will be au­to­mat­i­cally en­rolled in plans dur­ing the last week of open en­roll­ment, which ends on Dec. 15 in most states.

In Min­nesota, nearly 98,000 peo­ple en­rolled in ex­change cov­er­age dur­ing the first two weeks of open en­roll­ment, up 6.9% over the first two weeks last year. And about 25,600 res­i­dents se­lected a plan in the first two weeks of Colorado’s open en­roll­ment—13.1% ahead of last year’s pe­riod.

It is un­clear how a com­bi­na­tion of lower av­er­age premi­ums and ac­tions by Congress and the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion will af­fect en­roll­ment in the ACA-com­pli­ant in­di­vid­ual mar­ket in 2019. Av­er­age premi­ums are falling in many states, and con­sumers have more op­tions on the ex­changes as in­sur­ers who pulled out come back to the mar­ket. Still, premi­ums are higher than they would be if not for cer­tain ad­min­is­tra­tion and con­gres­sional ac­tions.

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