'Obamacare' sign-ups about 45 pct ahead of last year's pace

Lester Mason
November 15, 2017

All told, about 470,000 more customers signed up on HealthCare.gov - the federal website serving dozens of states - during the first 11 days of 2018 enrollment than in the first 12 days of 2017 signups.

That contrasts to 1,008,218 during a similar period a year ago.

The enrollment period to be covered by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) began Nov.1st, and is scheduled to end December 15th, for those hoping to qualify for health care coverage beginning January 1, 2018.

Democrats have anxious that ObamaCare enrollment would drop this year because of actions by the Trump administration, which includes cutting funds for advertising and outreach.

The numbers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services come as Republican senators are pushing to pay for tax cuts by repealing the "Obamacare" requirement to carry coverage.

Almost 1.5 million Americans signed up for coverage during the first 11 days of enrollment, CMS said Tuesday, including 876,788 during the second week. Healthcare.gov operates the Obamacare insurance markets for 39 states.

But California, the biggest state-run exchange, earlier reported that enrollments were 25 percent higher than past year on the first day of signups.


Last week California, New York, Massachusetts and other states reported a quicker pace of enrollment compared to a year ago.

Of those people, 208,397 were new customers, and 668,391 were returning customers.

About 23 percent of the 1,478,250 people who selected plans were new to the marketplace, according to data provided by CMS.

The number of consumers on applications for coverage submitted to HealthCare.gov were 2.92 million in the first two weeks, or about 42 percent higher than the number of consumers on applicatons during the first two weeks past year.

The final sign-up picture will not be clear until the enrollment period ends December 15, which is about half as much time as people had to sign up previous year.

Open enrollment on HealthCare.gov ends December 15, although the sign-up season is longer, and ends on varying days, on most state-run exchanges. However, many uninsured people can avoid the penalty if they qualify for a wide range of exemptions.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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