2017 Obamacare Enrollment Expected to Increase 9 Percent


Some 13.8 million people are expected to sign up for 2017 Obamacare plans in the open enrollment season set to start Nov. 1, the Department of Health and Human Services says.

That’s an increase of 1.1 million people, or nearly 9 percent, over the 12.7 million people who selected plans by the end of the 2016 open enrollment season. Open enrollment for the 2017 plan year ends Jan. 31.

The 13.8 million people expected to sign up include 9.2 million people who will be renewing their Affordable Care Act coverage, 3.5 million people who are currently uninsured and 1.1 million currently in individual plans outside of the ACA marketplaces.

The average monthly enrollment among people who have paid their premiums and have active policies is estimated to be 11.4 million in 2017.

After growth in 2015 and 2016, ACA marketplace growth is likely to slow down significantly in 2017, S&P Global Ratings has forecast.

Significant premium increases by health insurers trying to stem losses from previous years and fewer choices in the marketplaces due to pullbacks by major health insurers such as UnitedHealth Group Inc., Aetna Inc., Humana Inc. and some state Blue Cross Blue Shield plans will reduce the number of enrollees who don’t receive subsidies under the 2010 health-care law, S&P Global Ratings said.

“We expect this to be a transition period for the marketplace,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said at a press briefing. “Issuers are adjusting their prices, bringing them in line with actual data on their costs,” she said.

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