The number of people enrolling in Affordable Care Act insurance plans spiked on the first day of open enrollment this year, a Trump administration official told The Washington Post.
The official, who spoke anonymously because the numbers have yet to be officially released, told the newspaper that more than 200,000 people chose a plan on Nov. 1, when open enrollment began, which is more than double the number of people who signed up on the first day last year.
More than 1 million people visited Healthcare.gov on Nov. 1, according to the official, an increase of about 33% over the first day of open enrollment last year. The figures represent only some of the total ACA sign-ups thus far in open enrollment, as it includes only states that use the federal insurance marketplaces, or that rely on Healthcare.gov for enrollment.
A report from Standard & Poor's forecast between 10.6 million and 11.4 million sign-ups for 2018, a drop of between 7% and 13% from the number of enrolled in ACA plans for 2017. The group noted in its report that enrollment figures dipped for the first time in the 2017 open enrollment period. The report estimates that most people who had ACA plans in 2017 (about 80%) will re-enroll for 2018, but that fewer new enrollees will enter the marketplace.
The Trump administration has taken a number of steps that critics say are likely to hinder this year's open enrollment. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that it will spend just $10 million on outreach, a drop of 90% from $100 million the year before.
CMS also adjusted how it funds the navigator program and has cut down the open enrollment period for 2018 significantly. It will last from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, just 45 days, compared to three months in past years.
A number of outreach organizations said over the summer that the Department of Health and Human Services had stopped working with them on ACA marketing.