Obamacare sign-ups surge in final tally
2019 enrollment fell just slightly behind 2018 after a strong final week.
Obamacare sign-ups for 2019 ended up steady from 2018 in most of the country, thanks to a strong final week on the health care law’s markets.
Nearly 8.5 million people enrolled in a health plan for next year on the federal insurance marketplace. Enrollment on HealthCare.gov had been lagging 10-15 percent behind last year’s numbers for most of the enrollment period; raw sign-ups had fallen almost 600,000 behind last year’s pace. But after a strong final few days, they will close just 300,000, or 4 percent, off 2018’s totals.
Obamacare open enrollment, 2017 vs. 2018
Open enrollment in 2018 is lagging behind last year’s numbers.
Despite the last-minute surge, lagging enrollment is still worrisome. There are a lot of theories for why enrollment is down. There are some obvious policy reasons: The individual mandate is gone; people can now buy less comprehensive health insurance plans being pushed by the Trump administration; Virginia’s Medicaid expansion is moving people from the Obamacare markets into that program. The Trump administration has also sharply cut enrollment outreach programs and advertising over the past two years.