I am actually baffled to hear that Obamacare signups have surged in the first few days of open enrollment.
The Hill reports that “several sources close to the process” have compared the numbers to previous years and confirmed that it is surging this year.
The surge in sign-ups, which was confirmed by an administration official, comes despite fears from Democrats that enrollment would fall off due to the Trump administration’s cutbacks in outreach and advertising.
On the first day of enrollment alone, Nov. 1, one source close to the process told The Hill that more than 200,000 people selected a plan for 2018, compared with about 100,000 last year. More than 1 million people visited healthcare.gov that day, compared to about 750,000 last year, the source said.
Of course it is still just the beginning of open enrollment, and although there was a surge, it could completely fall off soon. Also, not all of the surge is necessarily new people enrolling, but rather many people renewing their healthcare as well.
Standard & Poor’s forecasted last week that enrollment could drop by as much as 1.6 million people below last year’s level of 12.2 million signups, in part due to uncertainty from the administration’s actions.
In addition, this year the enrollment period was cut in half, ending on December 15.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesperson said, “The first few days of Open Enrollment for the Federal Health Insurance Exchange went smoothly,” they continued, “The website performed optimally and consumers easily accessed enrollment tools to compare plans and prices.”
Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan said in a speech last week that the administration wants the sign-up period to be “as consumer friendly as possible.”