Connecticut Among 16 States Seeing Increased Obamacare Enrollment

Connecticut Among 16 States Seeing Increased Obamacare Enrollment

Connecticut Among 16 States Seeing Increased Obamacare Enrollment

The dozen or so states running their own insurance marketplaces mostly outperformed the federal

The annual enrollment tally remains a relatively crude metric that doesn't account for what kind of consumers are signing up for coverage.

"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.

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 enrollment platform (KY, NV, and OR), and five were federal marketplaces. Elected officials in Minnesota developed their own reinsurance system to help control premiums this year. In the 12 fully state-operated marketplaces, enrollment ticked up just slightly by 0.1 percent, ranging from 6.3 percent drop in Vermont to a 12.1 percent increase in Rhode Island.

"Put simply, marketing matters", Lee said.

Those states saw enrollment numbers that were pretty much the same as last year's.

Obamacare advocates had feared that sign-ups would plummet after the Trump administration cut the open enrollment period in half, slashed advertising by 90% and reduced support for enrollment assistance.

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If you've followed the headlines since President Trump took office, you would think the Affordable Care Act (often referred to as Obamacare) is not only awful, but also about to die. Several states extended their season into January, with California and NY allowing people to select plans until the end of the month.

Numerous federal moves were not helpful, said Heather Korbulic, executive director of Nevada Health Link, which is operated by the state but uses the federal Health website. However, 423,484 of those consumers were new enrollees, which is up three percent from previous year.

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.

The marketplaces have primarily served low- and moderate-income Americans who don't get health benefits through an employer or a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid. Those on-market price hikes were largely offset by jumps in tax credits for consumers receiving subsidies.

"There could be a number of different reasons for that", says James Scullary with Covered California.

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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