Obamacare Sign-Ups Barely Fell Despite Trump Trashing It

Obamacare Sign-Ups Barely Fell Despite Trump Trashing It

The academy's figures provide the initial evaluation of how enrollment fared in the state-based exchanges, which have more control over their outreach efforts and enrollment schedules. He highlighted that almost 390,000 new consumers signed up for coverage, an increase of 5% over the prior year.

To Trish Riley, executive director of NASHP, the results indicate that the ACA exchanges have achieved "remarkable stability".

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia exceeded 2017 signups in 2018 - eight of these were state-based marketplaces, three were state-based marketplaces using the Healthcare.gov enrollment platform (KY, NV, and OR), and five were federal Healthcare.gov marketplaces.

Several states, including Alaska and Minnesota, already have reinsurance programs.

Even bigger enrollment increases were recorded in Washington state, which had 7.6 percent increase, and Rhode Island, which led all states with a 12.1 percent increase.

"Put simply, marketing matters", Lee said.

Covered California - the state's health insurance marketplace - saw an increase in new enrollees past year.




With the Trump administration taking steps to undercut these marketplaces and congressional Republicans having spent much of past year trying unsuccessfully to dismantle large parts of the ACA, leaders of state insurance exchanges and other health-policy experts said that enrollment was surprisingly resilient.

Trump also repeatedly referred to the health care system, also known as Obamacare after his predecessor, as "dead" and talked of allowing it to implode. Several states extended their season into January, with California and NY allowing people to select plans until the end of the month. That's a two percent drop compared to previous year - about 35,000 fewer people.

In the 34 states using the federal marketplace, enrollment dropped by a larger 5.3 percent compared to 2017 and 10.5 percent compared to 2016.

They have been buffeted for much of the a year ago by uncertainty over their future, with insurers in some areas raising rates steeply or exiting markets altogether.

The law offers subsidies to Americans making between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line, or between $12,060 and $48,240 a year.

People who are eligible for health law subsidies would be shielded from such increases, but those who don't get financial assistance would face another round of premium hikes.

But continued uncertainty about the markets and the disappearance in 2019 of a penalty for not having coverage could push up rates for consumers who don't qualify for aid.

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