ObamaCare enrollment down 11 percent from last year

Enrollment in ObamaCare plans is down by 11 percent compared to last year, according to new sign up numbers released by the Trump administration. 

In the first five weeks of this year's sign up period, about 3.2 million people have signed up for ObamaCare plans, compared to the 3.6 million who had signed up by this point last year. 

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That's a decrease of more than 406,000, or 11 percent. 

In week five alone, which ran from Nov. 25 through Dec. 1, 773,000 people signed up for ObamaCare plans. In week five of last year's sign up period, 823,000 people signed up for coverage. 

There is only one week left of the open enrollment period, which ends Dec. 15. 

The number of new customers signing up is also down 17 percent, compared to last year. 

Health insurance experts say there are a number of reasons enrollment could be dropping this year, including funding cuts the Trump administration made to advertising and to local groups that provide enrollment assistance. 

It's also the first year individuals without insurance won't have to pay a penalty, which could encourage customers to drop ObamaCare plans. 

Part of the decrease is also attributable to the first week of open enrollment being one day shorter than last year's.

Larry Levitt, a health insurance expert with the Kaiser Family Foundation, said Virginia's expansion of Medicaid, lower unemployment and the administration's expansion of short-term plans that don't comply with ObamaCare requirements could also be a factor affecting enrollment.