This week Federal officials announced 1.65 million people have enrolled in Obamacare during the first 3 weeks of 2016 open enrollment period which started Nov 1st. This total only includes the 37 states that rely on the federal exchange and excludes the 14 states and the District of Columbia that run their own exchanges as well as the individuals that purchased plans through a private exchange (not Obamacare).
“We are three weeks into Open Enrollment, and we continue to see demand for the quality, affordable health coverage available through the Marketplace. More than 1.6 million consumers have selected coverage, including half a million new consumers and over a million existing marketplace consumers who have returned to shop, switch plans or choose their same plan for 2016,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said.
When compared to 2015, total enrollments are down 13%, however it’s important that it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. The 2016 Open Enrollment Period started sooner this year and will have 2 additional weeks before the first key deadline on Dec. 15 so it should significantly surpass the 2015 enrollments. Additional details on 2015 v 2016 can be read here.
Ultimately experts predict 14.7 million people will enroll for 2016, a substantial increase over 2015’s 9.1 million projection.
Consumers only have 2 weeks left, until December 15, to enroll in a plan and have coverage by January 1, 2016 and to ensure they don’t pay a tax penalty equal to 2.5 percent of their adjusted gross income next year or $695 per adult, whichever is greater.