With just a week to go before the ACA's fifth open enrollment comes to an end, experts predict signups will fall short of last year's, thanks to the shortened enrollment period, slashed advertising funds, and premium increases.
With little more than a week before enrollment ends for individual exchange coverage, the number of sign-ups has fallen way behind the pace of previous years, given the shortened enrollment period.
Loss of the individual mandate, loosened regulation of short-term plans feared by healthcare industry
The tax bill's repeal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate combined with the expansion of short-term health plans could deliver a severe blow to the ACA-regulated individual market serving nearly 20 million Americans.
HealthCare.gov sign-ups have a lot of ground to make up before open enrollment ends on Dec. 15.
Health insurers fear they will be on the hook for greater healthcare costs if the CMS finalizes its proposal to allow states to define their own essential health benefits starting in 2019.
Plan selections through HealthCare.gov during the first three weeks of the fifth ACA open enrollment continue to top last year's sign-ups, though it's unclear if the pace will continue until enrollment ends Dec. 15.
Prior to the start of open enrollment, many experts feared sign-ups would drop this year because of deep cuts in federal funding for Obamacare marketing and outreach. But so far, enrollment continues to outpace last year.
The federal government's risk-corridor tab has grown to $12.3 billion, and the CMS has barely made a dent in those payments despite more than three-dozen lawsuits from health insurers demanding the feds pay up.
Sign-ups during the first week of ACA open enrollment outpaced last year's, suggesting concerns that enrollment would falter this year were overblown.
President Donald Trump wants an alternative to Obamacare. He and other critics say full-fledged plans have become unaffordable for the roughly 17 percent of consumers who don't qualify for financial aid. But the president's move could cause damage.
Although state and federal lawmakers have turned their focus toward the fate of cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, Humana hasn't forgotten about its unpaid $611 million risk-corridor bill.
Although the CMS wants to give states more flexibility to determine the essential health benefits that marketplace plans must cover and lower medical loss ratios, the agency's internal estimates show few are expected to take up the offer.