Senior Research Analyst
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final count of people selecting health coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual marketplace for 2020 is expected soon. Accurately assessing this year’s HealthCare.gov sign-ups will require some adjustment: this year’s sign-ups will match last year’s if they total roughly 8.34 million, about 110,000 below the 8.45 million reported in last year's final snapshot report.
This adjustment is needed for two reasons:
HealthCare.gov sign-ups will likely fall somewhat below even the adjusted totals. And they will certainly be lower than they would’ve been without Trump Administration and congressional actions undermining the marketplace, including outreach funding cuts, expanded availability of substandard plans, a climate of fear that deters eligible immigrant families from obtaining coverage, and repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate penalty. Consumers also experienced challenges accessing HealthCare.gov on the first day of open enrollment and on the December 15 deadline, although the Administration extended the deadline through December 17 in recognition of these issues. But in comparing sign-ups from year to year, it’s important to compare apples to apples.