Insurers Urge Individuals To Sign Up For O’Care Exchanges After WH Pulls Ads

AP

After the White House cut off outreach and advertising in the final days of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s exchange in 2017, insurers continued to encourage individuals to enroll to keep costs down Friday.

America’s Health Insurance Plans, the national association for insurers, issued a statement Friday emphasizing the importance of robust sign ups.

“Every American deserves coverage, and open enrollment is the best opportunity people have to get coverage that gives them access to high-quality care. At a time when the individual market faces challenges, we need as many people as possible to participate – so that costs go down for everyone,” Kristine Grow, the senior vice president of communications of AHIP, said in a statement. “Balancing out the risk pool is an important action that can be taken now to help stabilize the market, improve affordability, and send strong signals as health plans develop their products for 2018.”

A key concern among insurers is that cutting off outreach in the last days of open enrollment may hurt efforts to attract young enrollees who tend to procrastinate signing up for the exchanges until the last minute, but also tend to be healthier and can help drive down costs.

The Washington Post first reported Thursday that Trump administration officials had instructed HHS officials to stop millions of dollars in advertising that was already scheduled and purchased.

“It’s outrageous. It’s irresponsible,” said Ben Wakana, a senior HHS spokesman until Trump took office, told the Washington Post. “They are deliberately undermining open enrollment to try to get a lower enrollment number.”

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Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.
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