The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 9.2 million Americans signed up for 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace policies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the Jan. 31 deadline, a 4 percent drop from last year.
The numbers don’t include enrollment in 11 states including New York and California that run their own insurance exchanges. Those figures won’t be available until March.
In South Dakota, 29,622 residents signed up for coverage, a 14 percent increase from the previous year.
The marketplaces had appeared to be on pace to eclipse last year’s totals, but nationwide enrollment dropped in the final two weeks, with just 360,000 people signing up compared to 700,000 during that period last year, according to HHS. Obamacare supporters, including former HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, questioned whether the Trump administration’s decision to pull some promotional advertising and outreach efforts led to the decline.
Last month, the Senate and House took the first steps toward repealing the ACA by approving a FY 2017 budget blueprint that sets up repeal of the health law through a complex legislative process known as reconciliation. Republicans have promised a replacement plan, but details of those measures are still being hashed out.