About 53,000 more individuals than last year signed up for health insurance policies during the first 12 days of open enrollment this year, which commenced Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, despite the election of Donald Trump as president and his vow to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that for the first 12 days of enrollment, 250,000 new consumers signed up and another 750,000 renewed their plans (using round numbers, obviously), with the total beating last year’s early sign-ups by 50,000-plus.
“The American people are demonstrating how much they continue to want and need the coverage the marketplace offers,” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said.
Overall, administration officials are predicting 13.8 million enrollees by Jan. 31, up 1.1 million from last year.
Trump and the Republican Congress have announced plans to end Obamacare but have indicated there will be a transition period. Trump himself has said he favors keeping the ACA provisions prohibiting exclusions for pre-existing health conditions and allowing adult children to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26.
More than three-quarters of the policies sold on the federal and state exchanges are heavily subsidized by the government.