Weekly Checkup

ACA Enrollment Update

Today marks the deadline to sign up for Marketplace coverage beginning January 1, though individuals can continue to sign up for coverage for next year through January 31. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expects 13.8 million people to enroll in a Marketplace plan during the entire Open Enrollment for the 2017 coverage year. Most of these people are expected to be re-enrollees, one-fourth are expected to be previously uninsured individuals, and roughly 8 percent are expected to be people who purchased off-exchange plans for 2016. If the overall projection is correct, it would represent an increase of 1.1 million (9 percent) from the 12.7 million that enrolled during Open Enrollment for the 2016 plan year. However, it is projected that only 11.4 million people will pay their monthly premiums and maintain enrollment in 2017. The graph below shows the number of people who selected plans in the first six weeks of open enrollment for the past two years and the current year. While the numbers in the report show enrollments through the first six weeks are 156,000 fewer this year than last year, CMS claims that 700,000 people signed up on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Such an enrollment surge must be sustained to have any hope of meeting the target; with only six days left to enroll in coverage for January, only 29 percent of the projection had been met.