Affordable Care Act enrollment continues to lag during week five of open enrollment. From November 25 through December 1, 773,250 people selected plans compared to 823,180 during week five last year.
In total, 3,198,163 people have selected plans through Healthcare.gov, compared to 3,604,440 last year, an 11.2 percent drop.
Fewer enrollees may mean there are fewer consumers who are insured. The individual mandate to buy insurance ends in 2019.
Insurers who had gotten out of the market or reduced their footprint returned this year. Premiums stabilized. Whether the drop in the number of beneficiaries interested in getting ACA insurance signals renewed destabilization for the industry next year remains unclear.
There's little more than a week left to enroll. Since open enrollment began on November 1, the numbers have been down. The fact that this year's open enrollment has one fewer day than last year does not account for the drop.
Of the 3.2 million consumers selecting plans this year, 75 percent, 2.4 million, are plan beneficiaries who are renewing their coverage.
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