On February 3, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its final snapshot of plan selections for the fourth Healthcare.gov open enrollment period, which ended on January 31, 2017. As of that date, 9,201,805 individuals had selected plans through Healthcare.gov in the 39 states that it serves. About 3 million of these were new consumers and 6.2 million were returning consumers.
This number does not include plan selections through the dozen state-based marketplaces that do not use HealthCare.gov. It is a count of individuals who selected plans, not of those who actually paid a binder premium payment and thus effectuated enrollment. Effectuated enrollment counts will be released later.
The enrollment total is down from 9,625,982 who had selected plans by the end of the third open enrollment period on January 31, 2016. Enrollment had been running ahead of last year until the final two weeks of open enrollment for 2017, January 15 to January 31. But 376,260 consumers selected plans in the final two weeks for 2017, while in the final week of open enrollment in 2016, 686,708 enrolled.
There had been concern the President Trump’s executive order challenging the ACA, wide publicity surrounding Republican efforts to repeal it, and the withdrawal of marketplace advertising in the final week by the Trump administration might discourage consumers from enrolling in marketplace coverage. This has quite clearly happened.
Editor’s Note: This post previously included a small section about updates of civil money penalty amounts. On February 8th, that section was moved to an ACA Round-Up post here.