March 24, 2018

First ACA signups under Trump exceeding last year's pace

08 November 2017, 12:38 | Darrell Baldwin

ObamaCare Surprises With Record Enrollment Numbers

Obamacare registrations hit record total days after enrollment began

"The first few days of Open Enrollment for the Federal Health Insurance Exchange went smoothly", a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said, the Hill reported.

According to the latest reports, a record number of people in the USA have signed up for Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after it was announced that enrollments for the 2018 healthcare plan were open.

The momentum has been sustained this week, the sources said.

That potential record for enrollment levels comes despite opposition to Obamacare by the Trump administration, and despite sharp defunding of sign-up outreach efforts and advertising by the administration. The enrollment period will be far shorter than a year ago, will ending December 15. The site logged in over 1 million visitors on the first day of enrollment, compared to 750,000 visits in 2016.

There is a bill in the state House of Representatives that could change that. This period allows you to enroll outside of the usual open enrollment time. That gives people a narrow 40-day window to sign up for ACA, since enrollments are closed on Sundays and one also has to account for the Thanksgiving holidays. A letter sent recently by an insurance provider to a New Hampshire resident states that in contrast to the $237 monthly premium the consumer paid in 2017, the cost of that plan next year would shoot to $630 a month if they chose to stay on - despite their federal subsidies.

Enrolling on is easy.

The window to sign up for health care for 2018 opened November 1 and will close December 15.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Obamacare, declined to comment to CNBC when asked for an official sign-up tally for the past week, and how it compares with the same time period previous year.

"Don't ignore the deadline if you are uninsured", Headrick wrote on local news outlet Knox News. As a result, many Obamacare customers may need to change health plans for 2018, either to work with a different insurer or in response to price increases. The federal Department of Health and Human Services is also not spending as much on advertising open enrollment this year. Most of these professionals have 10 or more years of experience in the industry.

An organization in Charlottesville says the Affordable Care Act is working fine despite some people seeing a large bump in health insurance costs for 2018.

Last week Standard & Poor's forecast that 2018 signups might drop by as much as 1.6 million people from the 12.2 who registered for ACA the prior year - thanks to uncertainty about what Trump will do to the program.

The "free", or zero-premium, policies that appear on the computer screen might jump out at shoppers as a giveaway too good to pass up.

Peck told CNBC that the impact of the Trump administration's moves "is pretty grim".

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