Trump officials sticking with reduced ObamaCare outreach budget

Trump officials sticking with reduced ObamaCare outreach budget
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The Trump administration will spend $10 million on ObamaCare outreach and marketing ahead of the upcoming open enrollment period, the same amount as last year.

The $10 million for ad funding for 2019 is a 90 percent cut compared to the $100 million that the Obama administration devoted for 2017 coverage year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will use “similar marketing tactics from last year” to best target consumers with much less money than Obama allocated.

“CMS will ... focus funding and attention on the most strategic and efficient ways to reach consumers. This year’s outreach and education campaign will target people who are uninsured as well as those planning to re-enroll in health plans, with a special focus on young and healthy consumers,” the agency said Friday.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a statement said last year’s open enrollment period “was the agency’s most cost effective and successful experience for HealthCare.gov consumers to date.”

Currently, residents in 38 states use the website to buy Obamacare coverage. Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 15, for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

Last year, nearly 9 million people signed up for health care coverage through federal ObamaCare exchanges despite the administration cutting outreach and marketing funding, and shortening the open enrollment period.

The administration is also cutting funds for outside groups that help reach and enroll likely ObamaCare consumers. The funding will be cut from $36 million to $10 million.