Saturday, December 22, 2018

Last-minute surge stabilizes Obamacare enrollments for 2019

WASHINGTON - MARCH 23:  President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Health Care for America Act during a ceremony with fellow Democrats in the East Room of the White House March 23, 2010 in Washington, DC. The historic bill was passed by the House of Repr
It's still a big fucking deal. And a successful one.
Against all odds and projections, enrollment in the Affordable Care Act for the 2019 plan year remains steady, and that's according to the Trump administration's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

As of Dec. 15 at midnight, 8.5 million people enrolled in coverage, compared to 8.8 million last year. So instead of the 11 percent drop off that appeared to be taking shape, it's down about 4 percent. That's in part because of a huge surge in the last week of open enrollment, with 4 million people signing up. Despite everything thrown at it by Individual 1 and Republicans, the program remains resilient.

The strength is coming from existing participants re-enrolling, with a total of more than 6.4 million re-upping. That's where there's also some bad news, as new enrollments dropped off by 15.4 percent. And that's where the administration's sabotage in reducing outreach to almost nil undoubtedly had a role. Other factors include more people working; the repeal of the individual mandate; and the new and cheaper short-term plans Trump has expanded, which probably pulled healthy people away from the ACA exchanges.

These are preliminary numbers, and don't include the states that are keeping enrollment open through January. That includes California, which will have big numbers. So as the state-run exchanges report in, the number will grow.

So take that, federal Judge Reed O’Connor. Your ridiculous decision, handed down just in time to derail the final hours of open enrollment, didn't work.

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