ACA health coverage enrollments down 300K from same time last year

Dec. 4 (UPI) — Enrollment in Affordable Care Act health insurance plans remains sluggish, even as the time Americans can sign up for coverage draws to the close, according to figures released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

For the most recent week of the enrollment period, which closed November 30, just over 500,000 people signed up for coverage for 2020.

However, with just two weeks left to apply for coverage for next calendar year — the open enrollment period for ACA health insurance closes Dec. 15 — fewer than 2.9 million people have used the federal healthcare.gov web site to sign up this year.

At the end of week five of open enrollment for 2019 coverage, this figure was at 3.2 million.

The figures reflect signups in the 38 states that use the HealthCare.gov platform. CMS measures enrollment weeks from Sunday through Saturday, so the cumulative totals reported for 2019 include one fewer day than last year.

CMS reported that technical issues prevented some people from choosing a 2020 plan on the first day of open enrollment, which may have contributed to the lower sign-up total.

Of the 504,041 people who signed up for 2020 coverage during the most recent week of enrollment, 360,794 were renewing plans, while 143,247 were seeking insurance for the first time. For the year to date, these numbers are just over 2.1 million and 764,956, respectively.