ObamaCare enrollment down compared to last year

ObamaCare enrollment down compared to last year

Fewer people are signing up for ObamaCare plans this year compared to a similar period last year, according to data released Wednesday by the Trump administration. 

About 1.2 million people signed up for ObamaCare plans in the first ten days of this year's sign up period, which began Nov. 1.

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In the first nine days of last year's enrollment period, 1.5 million people signed up for plans — a different of more than 300,000. 

In week two of this year's sign up period, which stretched from Nov. 4 through Nov. 10, 805,000 people signed up for coverage, compared to the 876,788 people who enrolled during a similar period last year. 

The number of new customers signing up is also down compared to last year. So far, 186,000 new customers have signed up for coverage, compared to 208,397 new sign ups during a similar period last year.

Open enrollment ends Dec. 15. 

It's the first year since ObamaCare was passed that people don't have to pay a penalty for not having insurance, which could lead to fewer sign ups. 

But it's too early to tell whether total ObamaCare enrollment will decline, tweeted Larry Levitt, a health care expert with the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

Part of the decline could be attributed to the first two weeks of open enrollment being one day shorter this year, he said

The election could also have diverted attention from the beginning of the enrollment period, he said. 

"As always, I would expect a surge in ACA signups as the December 15 deadline approaches, so it's way too early to conclude that enrollment will drop this year," Levitt said.