The HealthCare.gov team may have held 2018 enrollment shrinkage to just 4.5%, in spite of uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act and a 30% drop in agent registrations.
For 2017, HealthCare.gov received signup information for 9.2 million people.
The open enrollment period for 2017 coverage started Nov. 1, 2016, and ended Jan. 31, 2017.
The open enrollment period for 2018 coveraged started Nov. 1, 2017, and ended Dec. 15, 2017.
CMS posted its latest signup data summary here.
CMS reports plan signup numbers, rather than sales, because HealthCare.gov gives people who sign up for plans several weeks to “effectuate” coverage by making their first premium payments.
An ACA exchange gives consumers a mechanism for buying health plans from private insurers.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set up HealthCare.gov to provide ACA exchange services for states that were unwilling or unable to provide exchange services for their own residents. The system now provides exchange services for residents of 39 states.
Some observers predicted that, because of the shorter HealthCare.gov open enrollment period and insurer menu changes, HealthCare.gov signup activity for 2018 could be much lower than its signup activity for 2017.
One early indicator was the number of agents and brokers interested in offering HealthCare.gov coverage. At the beginning of the latest open enrollment period, the number of registered producers was about 30% lower than it was at the beginning of the open enrollment period for 2017 coverage. HealthCare.gov has not released producer production figures. It’s not clear from public data whether the producers who did register for the latest open enrollment period were more active or less active.