Obamacare Enrollment Drops by 1.6 Million Customers

Alberto Abin walks out of the UniVista Insurance company office after shopping for a health plan under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, on December 15, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Obamacare enrollment declined by 1.6 million customers between the end of open enrollment in January through March, according to new data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS’ Obamacare “Snapshot” reveals that enrollment in President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare program dropped to 11.1 million consumers, down from the 12.7 million who signed up prior to the January 31 deadline.

The drop in enrollment represents a nearly 13 percent decline in the number of people paying their premiums and maintaining an active policy as of March 31.

Despite the drop-off, CMS stresses that the program remains strong, as the retention rate is between the anticipated 80-90 percent window. The agency also pointed to an increase of a million new customers compared to March of last year.

“This increased level of enrollment demonstrates the strength of the Marketplace over time, as millions of Americans continue to have access to quality and affordable coverage when they need it,” Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplace said in a statement. “As of early this year, 20 million Americans had coverage thanks to provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and the Health Insurance Marketplace is an important contributor to that progress.”

Of the remaining 11.1 million users, 9.4 million or about 85 percent were receiving subsidies averaging $291 a month to help pay their premiums.

Also over that three-month timeframe, another 17,000 Obamacare customers with what CMS terms “unresolved citizenship or immigration status data matching issues” were terminated and some 73,000 households with “unresolved annual household income data matching issues” had their subsidies adjusted.

“Compared to the first quarter of last year, this represents an 85 percent decrease in the number of consumers whose coverage ended because of an unresolved citizenship or immigration data matching issue, and a 69 percent decrease in households with income data matching issues who had their advanced payment of the premium tax credit and/or their cost sharing reduction adjusted,” CMS noted in it’s snapshot report.


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