Approximately 12.2 million people enrolled in individual insurance plans for the 2017 plan year through the Obamacare exchanges, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid said Wednesday. About 9.2 million of those enrollees used the federally-operated marketplace, Healthcare.gov, and 3 million enrolled via state-based exchanges, CMS’ final report said.
The enrollment numbers were down from last year’s plan year, particularly in the Healthcare.gov marketplace, which saw 400,000 fewer enrollees this year than for the 2016 plan year. The Trump administration drew fire from both ACA supporters and the insurance industry when it scaled back the government’s outreach efforts in the final days of the open enrollment period.
Enrollment in state-based marketplaces, where states do their own outreach efforts, was down by about 100,000 enrollees.
About a third of this year’s enrollees (31 percent) were new enrollees, while 66 percent re-enrolled actively or automatically.
Republicans are in the midst of debating a repeal of Obamacare which would replace the current premium subsidies with less generous tax credits that would be applicable to plans beyond those offered in the ACA exchanges.
The average monthly premium for a silver plan, which most enrollees selected, went up by $84 between this year over last year. However, a vast majority of enrollees were eligible for an ACA tax credits, which on average meant that silver plan enrollees only paid a dollar more monthly than they did last year.