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Almost 11.8M enroll in Obamacare in 2018
09 February 2018, 01:41 | Max Haynes
Almost 11.8M enroll in Obamacare in 2018
Of the 1.5 million Californians that signed up last year, more than 380,000 are new customers, a slight uptick from the previous year.
But the final tally is still impressive considering all the political turmoil surrounding the healthcare law, according to an analysis from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP).
"For the first time we now have the full national picture of how the individual marketplaces did this year and it is a picture of remarkable stability", Trish Riley, executive director of NASHP, said in a statement.
Overall ACA marketplace signups for 2018 dropped by 3.7 percent compared to last year's enrollment period, a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds.
The report combined enrollment figures from the federal exchange, where enrollment ended on December 15, 2017, along with state-based exchanges that allowed customers to select plans as late as January 31.
States which handle their own systems and advertising such as, New York, Colorado and California, typically offered extended sign-up periods and saw.2 percent increase in enrollment.
Nearly 12 million Americans signed up for 2018 health coverage through marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, suggesting consumers are steadily signing up for health plans even as Trump derided the markets as crumbling and unaffordable.
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About 1.5 million Californians signed up for insurance through Covered California during the three-month open enrollment period that ended January 31st.
What would help boost enrollment when sign-ups begin again later this year, according to leaders of state-based exchanges, is additional federal funding for reinsurance. The Trump administration also cut the sign-up window in half, slashed the ad budget, and suddenly stopped a major subsidy to insurers, which triggered a jump in premiums.
There were multiple attempts by the Republican-led Congress to repeal it.
Sign-ups through the federal exchange fell 8.2 percent here a year ago, down to 1.13 million from about 1.23 million in 2016. Covered California officials say part of the decline is because some people who make too much to qualify for subsidies could get a better deal elsewhere, while others got new jobs with insurance benefits. Six of those were carried by President Donald Trump in 2016, while 10 went for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Starting in 2019, Congress has repealed the law's unpopular requirement that most people carry health insurance or risk fines from the IRS.
The dozen or so states running their own insurance marketplaces mostly outperformed the federal HealthCare.gov. That's expected to embolden some healthy people to go without coverage, which would raise premiums for those left behind. If they prove popular, that could siphon off more healthy people.
"Minnesota is an example that reinsurance works to stabilize markets", said Allison O'Toole, CEO of Minnesota's exchange MNsure.
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