Nearly 8.3M pick ACA plans on for 2020, a slight dip from 2019

Nearly 8.3 million people signed up for coverage on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges for 2020. (designer491)

Nearly 8.3 million people signed up for Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage on for 2020, a slight decline from the 8.4 million that signed up for 2019.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Wednesday the final enrollment for the site that is used by residents in 38 states to buy coverage on the ACA’s exchanges. The agency will release a final report on enrollment in March that will include enrollment from state-based exchanges.

“These numbers represent remarkably stable enrollment especially in light of the ongoing growth of the Trump economy, improving employment conditions and rising wages that would otherwise reduce the demand for subsidized coverage on the exchange,” tweeted CMS Administrator Seema Verma on Wednesday.

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The reason for the slight decline appears to be fewer people renewing their coverage on CMS’ report showed that 6.2 million people renewed their plans for 2020, compared to 6.3 million for 2019.

The number of new consumers picking plans was slightly up, with 2.08 million new consumers for 2020 compared with 2.07 million for 2019.

The latest open enrollment period was originally scheduled to run from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

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CMS decided to delay the end of open enrollment until Dec. 18 to accommodate people who tried to sign up in the final hours before the deadline but may have experienced delays or other issues.

The 2020 open enrollment period got off to a rocky start as the site was marred by anecdotal reports of technical problems that include consumers having trouble picking a plan. CMS has said that any reported technical issues on the first day of open enrollment were addressed that day and that operations continued as normal.

ACA advocacy group Get America Covered has estimated that as many as 100,000 fewer people could have signed up for coverage on the first day of open enrollment.

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