ObamaCare enrollment declines slightly to 11.4M sign-ups for 2019

ObamaCare sign-ups declined by about 400,000 from 2018 to 2019, according to new data released Monday by the Trump administration.

The report shows that about 11.4 million people signed up in 2019, down from 11.8 million last year.

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The Trump administration downplayed the change, calling it a “minimal decline” in the number of people signing up for health insurance under the law.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees ObamaCare, also said in a news release that there is “stability on the Exchanges,” a departure from arguments long made by other Republicans, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE, that ObamaCare is collapsing.  

Overall, enrollment has been declining in recent years, down from a peak of 12.7 million people in 2016.

Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, wrote on Twitter that the Trump administration’s cuts to outreach funding could be part of why enrollment fell.

He noted that enrollment remained largely steady on the 12 marketplaces that are run by states, and were not subject to the outreach cuts affecting the federally run marketplaces.

In the past three years, enrollment in state-run marketplaces has remained steady at 3 million people, while enrollment on the federally run marketplaces declined from 9.2 million to 8.4 million.

Average premiums dropped by 1.5 percent from the year before as well, something touted by the administration as the first time since the ObamaCare marketplaces began in 2014 that premiums have declined.

Many insurers have gained profitability in the ObamaCare market after substantially raising premiums in recent years, and therefore do not need to repeat the same premium hikes as in years past.