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Affordable Care Act open enrollment figures jump in Week 4

With less than two weeks to enroll, both the number of new and renewing consumers increased this year over last.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

The number of people signing up for Affordable Care Act plans since November 1 this year compared to 2018 has narrowed to a 2% drop, thanks to a big jump in enrollment during Week 4.

During Week 4, from November 17-23, 703,556 people selected plans using Healthcare.gov, compared to 500,437 consumers the year before.

The additional 203,119 consumers this week has helped narrow the enrollment gap year-over-year. In total, from November 1-23, 2,372,957 have enrolled, compared to 2,424,913 from November 1-24, 2018, a difference of 51,956 people.    

During Week 3 of open enrollment, numbers were down 13% over last year and in Week 2, the figures were off by 20%.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has yet to comment on enrollment numbers other than to say that because numbers are counted Sunday through Saturday, there's one less day this year.

Both the number of new and renewing consumers picked up during Week 4.

For 2020 coverage, new consumers during Week 4 totaled 190,135, compared to 131,224 signing up during the same week for 2019 plans; those renewing their insurance through the ACA totaled 513,421, compared to 369,213 the year before.

THE LARGER TREND

Insurers have gotten back into the ACA market or have expanded their footprint. There's more plans this year. And premiums, or premium increases, are lower.

Since January 2019, individuals are no longer mandated to have coverage or face a tax penalty, which could factor into an individual's decision whether to buy health insurance.

A low unemployment rate may mean more people may have coverage through their employers.

There's less than two weeks to the end of open enrollment on December 15.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com