Obamacare Enrollment Dropped 3-4 Percent This Year

A few states held the Obamacare enrollment period open until January 31, so we’re only now getting final enrollment numbers. Here they are:

It turns out that my optimism about meeting or beating last year’s number was misplaced. There just wasn’t very much additional enrollment after December 15. The only caveat here is that there was an unintended consequence of Donald Trump’s elimination of cost-sharing subsidies: in some states, silver policies became less expensive off-exchange than bronze policies on-exchange. California, for example, actively encouraged customers who didn’t qualify for subsidies to buy policies outside Obamacare. Charles Gaba thinks this probably had a significant effect on Obamacare enrollment, but of course it didn’t affect the net number of people who got health insurance. They just got it somewhere else. We won’t have reliable numbers on this for a while, but it’s something to keep in mind.

All in all, I wish the Obamacare numbers were higher, but a 3-4 percent drop isn’t too bad considering the deliberate sabotage campaign that came out of the White House. Next year could be grim, though, as yet more sabotage combines with the end of the individual mandate to spike premiums again. The war isn’t over yet.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest