Weekly open enrollment update: Week six

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releases weekly enrollment snapshots for the HealthCare.gov platform. These data points are estimates pulled at a specific point in time for each of the weekly plan selections, call center activity and visits to the HealthCare.gov websites.

As of Dec. 8, enrollments have not kept pace with previous years and the downward trend continued through week six. There are a number of reasons cited for the decline, including the Trump administration’s policies, Medicaid expansion in many states, midterm elections that took away some of the energy behind encouraging enrollments and much less in public awareness efforts (the major broadcast stations didn’t call attention to the enrollment period.)

Secretary Alex Azar says, “don’t judge enrollment until the period is over”.  He continued saying he didn’t know why the sign-ups are down about 10% from last year, but suggested one hypothesis: more Americans could be happy with the relatively stable insurance premiums and are waiting for automatic re-enrollment to kick in.

Open enrollment ends Dec. 15.