The reduced enrollment, announced by the marketplace this week, is a 500,000 drop from last year, and down about 1.3 million from earlier years. 2.8 million people didn’t do anything and so automatically got renewed in their current plan, at the new higher price in many cases.
Why it happened seems to depend on your view of the world For some the drop is due to the Trump Administrations’ reduction in the enrollment period length and marketing reductions, and cutting of Cost Reduction Subsidies on Silver plans.
Others believe that the plans are crazy expensive, offer few choices and have few insurance companies.
From where I sit, I think they are all correct to some extent. Cost Reduction Subsidies only affected insurance companies, but did drive prices up. 80% of healthcare.gov customers were eligible for plans costing less than $75 a month – and some at no cost. Humana, Aetna and a number of Anthem/Blue Cross companies left the market. We found more people panicking after the enrollment ended because they didn’t realize it was already over; there was a big rush this year after Thanksgiving we have not seen before.