Demand for Health Insurance Rises as ACA Deadline Nears

More than one million people signed up last week for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, pushing the total in the federal marketplace to nearly 4.7 million, the Trump administration said Wednesday, days before the annual enrollment period is scheduled to end.

The number of sign-ups on HealthCare.gov from Nov. 1 through Saturday was about 17 percent higher than the same time last year. But the final tally is likely to fall short of the 9.2 million who were in plans at the end of the last open enrollment period, which was twice as long as the current one.

Insurance counselors around the country, who help consumers enroll, said they had seen a surge of activity despite sharp increases in premiums, a smaller selection of health plans and confusion about the future of the Affordable Care Act after a year in which Republicans have repeatedly tried to dismantle the law.

About 1.4 million new customers have signed up this year, and 3.3 million people returned to HealthCare.gov to select the same plan or a different one for 2018.

People who have coverage this year and take no action may have their coverage automatically renewed. If their plan is no longer available, the government may assign them to another health plan offered by the same company or a different insurer, and that could significantly increase overall enrollment.

Read more…

Source: NYTimes