Obamacare Open Enrollment came to a close on December 15th, 2018. The start of the 2018 season was slow. The sign-up numbers were much lower than previous years. The enrollment period for this season is half of what is was last year, only lasting six weeks. Medscape reported an increase in numbers during week five. Even so, enrollment is much less than the 2017 season.
Obamacare Budget Cuts
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, over 9.2 million people signed up for Obamacare in 2017. This season included a 12-week open enrollment. It also had a $100 million budget for things like advertisements. The 2018 season worked with only 10% of the previous fiscal budget. The previous budget was set in place during the Obama administration. The current directors are in charge of the budget cuts that took place for the 2018 Obamacare season.
By the end of week four, the Department of Health and Services reported 823,180 people that signed up. This compared to 504,181 in the previous week. By the end of week five, there were a total of more than 3.6 million people signed up for Obamacare. This was only from the federal website, though. This does not include the number of people who automatically re-enroll at the close of the season. It also does not include the eleven states that control their own enrollment. They have their own websites instead of Healthcare.gov.
We can’t yet total the number of enrolled people in the United States, but the current findings are still considerably lower than last years end total. Government statistics show signs that 2018 Obamacare enrollment will decreases by about 20% from 2017. The number of individuals who are reenrolled and who the other eleven states are only expected to add to less than 10 million. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, this is drastically lower than the over 12 million in 2017.
Millions of people are not enrolling in Obamacare this season. There are a few reasons to why this could be happening. Whether it is due to the shorter time window or the changes in plans is hard to say. As of recently, there are people pushing to extend the Obamacare enrollment. They are hoping by extending the window, more people will have a chance to enroll. They are also hoping to give more people the chance to enroll to lower the number of people who won’t have coverage in 2018.