More than 1 million people have signed up for health insurance through Healthcare.gov so far during the open enrollment period, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Wednesday.
Though the country just elected leaders who are planning to unwind the Affordable Care Act, consumers do not seem to be any less eager to shop for coverage through the law’s online marketplaces. On the contrary, there was an uptick following the Nov. 8 elections: 300,000 people signed up for coverage from Nov. 9 to Nov. 11.
The CMS attributes that to the agency’s launch of additional outreach efforts. Federal health officials have targeted outreach efforts at 15 key metro areas this year, and have honed in on the sought-after millennial demographic.
“The American people are demonstrating how much they continue to want and need the coverage the marketplace offers, and we are encouraging all Americans who need health insurance for 2017 to visit Healthcare.gov or their state marketplace and check out their options,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in the announcement.
The signup tally so far includes 250,000 new consumers and more than 750,000 consumers renewing their coverage, CMS says. There were 53,000 more plan selections during the first 12 days of open enrollment this year than last year.
CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt told the Wall Street Journal that the federal exchange’s call center has fielded thousands of queries from consumers asking about how the election results will affect their coverage. Donald Trump’s transition team has not yet reached out to CMS, Slavitt added.
The Obama administration, though, is staying the course as it plans for 2018, said Christen Linke Young, principal deputy director of CMS’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, according to the New York Times. “It is business as usual with respect to how we are talking” to insurers, she said.
Trump campaigned on the promise to repeal and replace the ACA, though he also says he would like to keep two of the more popular provisions--a plan that some argue could still collapse the marketplaces. Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, are split on how best to go about dismantling the healthcare reform law.