A new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) report revealed that over three-quarters of new Obamacare signups are actually renewals, not new sign-ups.
Obamacare numbers analyst Charles Gaba wrote on Twitter that the sign-ups are “more than expected.”
Breitbart News reported that early enrollments typically denote Americans who renew their Obamacare health insurance coverage, rather than new enrollees, who tend to sign up later during the enrollment period.
Insurance executives argued that the early influx of Obamacare enrollment was sparked by the Republicans’ efforts to repeal Obamacare.
Steve Ringel, president of the Ohio market for CareSource, said, “You couldn’t have paid for that kind of advertising. It doesn’t matter what the storyline is, it’s drawing attention to the marketplace.”
One Trump administration official said it was “too early to form any kind of conclusion regarding comparisons” to last year.
Other insurance executives worry that many Americans may drop out of Obamacare due to the skyrocketing premiums and deductibles available on the Obamacare exchanges.
Rick Notter, an executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, explained, “They may choose not to enroll because the plans have become too expensive.”
Many low-income Americans can afford to obtain “free” health insurance plans because they are eligible for Obamacare subsidies. Brian Lobley, an executive at Independence Blue Cross, argued that the “free” plans look like “a real driver for consumers.”
Health insurance executives contend that much of the growth in Obamacare sign-ups revolves around the Obamacare subsidies.
“It’s a very different market if you’re subsidy-eligible versus not subsidy-eligible,” said Michael Z. Stahl, a health insurance executive.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming spokeswoman Wendy Curran, which increased its premiums by 48 percent for next year’s plans, revealed that consumers who cannot get Obamacare subsidies continue to express “anger and frustration.” However, low-income Americans who can get Obamacare subsidies are “surprised and amazed” at the low cost of their health insurance plans.
In the wake of Republican leadership’s inability to repeal Obamacare twice, President Donald Trump took action to help Americans who cannot afford health insurance.
Trump reportedly will sign an executive order to help Americans who cannot afford the Obamacare individual insurance fine if they cannot maintain purchase insurance.