(Image: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

HealthCare.gov continued to do good individual health insurance business during the third week of the open enrollment period for 2018, but year-over-year gains were smaller than they were doing the first 11 days of the selling season.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set up HealthCare.gov to run Affordable Care Act public health insurance exchange programs in states that are unwilling or unable to run exchange programs themselves.

HealthCare.gov received plan selection information for about 114,000 people per day from Nov. 12 through Nov. 18.

(Related: HealthCare.gov Posts Strong Second-Week Results

The daily average was down from a daily average of 146,000 for the period from Nov. 5 through Nov. 11.

But the latest daily average was up 41% from a daily average of about 81,000 for the period from Nov. 13, 2016, through Nov. 26, 2016, during the individual major medical insurance open enrollment period for 2017 coverage.

During the first 11 days of the 2018 open enrollment period, the daily average was 74% higher than during the first 11 days of the 2017 open enrollment period.

HealthCare.gov has taken in plan selection information for a total of 2.3 million people, up from about 1.6 million people during the first three weeks of the open enrollment period for 2017, according to ThinkAdvisor extrapolations based on a new enrollment activity report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CMS, the arm of HHS that runs HealthCare.gov, is issuing weekly reports this year. The agency issued biweekly reports for the 2017 open enrollment period.

CMS refers to application activity, rather than sales, because HealthCare.gov gives people who select coverage several weeks to “effectuate” the coverage by making their first premium payments. In the past, more than 80% of the applicants who selected coverage effectuated the coverage.

An “open enrollment” system is a system for limiting when people can sign up for insurance without showing they have what system managers classify as a good reason to do so.

Regulators, insurers and ACA exchange developed the individual major medical open enrollment system in an effort to keep healthy people from seeing the near-total ACA ban on medical underwriting as an invitation to wait until they get sick to pay for coverage.

The 2018 open enrollment period for residents of HealthCare.gov states started Nov. 1 and is set to end Dec. 15.

HealthCare.gov handled coverage applications for about 9.2 million people in 39 states for 2017.

The open enrollment period for 2017 ran from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31.

One question is whether the shorter application period will have much effect on total enrollment. In the past, using early-period activity to forecast total activity has been difficult, because many consumers have submitted applications right around the application deadline.

—Read Web Broker Reports Strong Individual Health Activity on ThinkAdvisor.


— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on
Facebook and Twitter.