Obamacare enrollment decreases after 2020 deadline expires

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Crusader Staff Report

Obamacare enrollment decreased after the deadline for new plans expired December 16, according to the final number from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. In total, nearly 8.3 million people signed up for Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage in 2020, a slight decrease from the 8.4 million that enrolled last year.

However, Illinois was among several states that had the highest enrollment numbers. Data shows Illinois had 292,945 enrollments. Florida had the most enrollments at over 1.9 million. But nationwide, the enrollment numbers were flat.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma  wrote in a tweet that the numbers represent “remarkably stable enrollment.”

“@CMSGov’s primary goal has been to provide a seamless Open Enrollment experience for consumers who want to enroll in Exchange coverage, and the data show we have been meeting this goal year after year,” she added.

These numbers include residents from a total of 38 states, where they can use HealthCare.gov to buy coverage. It does not include people who signed up through state-based exchanges, such as in California, Colorado, and Massachusetts. CMS will release a separate report in March with final enrollment data including state-based exchanges.

The lackluster enrollment may be attributed to the high unemployment rate among Obamacare enrollees who cannot afford insurance after being out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic. The irony for many is that health insurance is highly needed during the global health crisis.

This year, HealthCare.gov saw more new enrollees, but fewer renewals. Of the 8.29 million people who selected plans before the end of December, 2.08 million were new customers, meaning they were not covered through the exchanges last year. Last year, HealthCare.gov saw 2.07 million new customers.

The number of renewals dropped from 6.24 million last year to 6.2 million in 2020.

The states that saw the highest enrollment numbers included:

Florida: 1.91 million

Texas: 1.12 million

North Carolina: 505,275

Georgia: 463,910

Illinois: 292,945

Nevada, which previously used federal open enrollment for ACA plans, switched to a state-based exchange this year.

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