During the second week of the Affordable Care Act open enrollment, the number of people signing up dropped by close to 50,000, according to figures released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Since open enrollment for 2020 plans began on November 1, there are 244,183 fewer ACA enrollees, a 20% drop over last year.
From November 3-9, 754,967 people selected plans using Healthcare.gov, compared to 804,556 during the second week of 2018, a difference of 49,589. The 2018 numbers were lower by 72,232 over enrollment during the second week of 2017.
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For 2020 plans, cumulative enrollment is 932,049, compared to 1,176,232 in 2018 and 1,478,250 in 2017.
Since CMS measures the numbers from Sunday through Saturday, the cumulative totals this year reflect one fewer day than last year.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The majority of enrollees represent consumers who are renewing coverage: 558,962 people renewed their ACA health insurance during week 2 and a total of 687,121 renewed since the start of open enrollment on November 1.
The number of new consumers seeking coverage during week 2 is 196,005 and the cumulative total of those new to the market over the first two weeks is 244,928.
CMS gave no reason for the enrollment decline. Last year CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the low unemployment rate meant that more consumers were getting their healthcare coverage from the employers.
THE LARGER TREND
Premiums for Healthcare.gov plans are down 4%, but remain unaffordable to those consumers who do not receive federal subsidies for coverage, CMS has said.
An estimated 177,000 consumers signed up for ACA coverage during week 1 of open enrollment, which was two days long.
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