Health Care

Florida leads states in Obamacare enrollment for 2018

In this December 2014 photograph, Florida consumers wait outside an insurance brokerage at the Mall of the Americas, where they applied for an Affordable Care Act plan through the federal insurance exchange at healthcare.gov. Federal officials on Thursday announced that 8.8 million consumers selected a plan for 2018 on healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period that began on Nov. 1 and ended Dec. 15 — despite having fewer days to sign up. Florida led the 39 states using healthcare.gov, with 1.7 million consumers selecting a plan for 2018.
In this December 2014 photograph, Florida consumers wait outside an insurance brokerage at the Mall of the Americas, where they applied for an Affordable Care Act plan through the federal insurance exchange at healthcare.gov. Federal officials on Thursday announced that 8.8 million consumers selected a plan for 2018 on healthcare.gov during the open enrollment period that began on Nov. 1 and ended Dec. 15 — despite having fewer days to sign up. Florida led the 39 states using healthcare.gov, with 1.7 million consumers selecting a plan for 2018. Miami Herald/File

Sign-ups for Affordable Care Act plans on the federal insurance exchange at healthcare.gov were only slightly lower than last year despite consumers having fewer days to enroll this year and a dearth of marketing and other support from the Trump administration.

Federal regulators reported Thursday that about 8.8 million consumers selected an ACA plan for 2018 through healthcare.gov — down from 9.2 million this year. Those enrollment numbers do not include consumers who have signed up through state-based exchanges in 11 states and Washington, D.C.

Plan selections on healthcare.gov surged during the final week, as 4.1 million consumers signed up for 2018 coverage despite rising premiums and continued uncertainty about the future of the health law commonly known as Obamacare.

Florida once again led the 39 states using the federal exchange, with 1.7 million consumers selecting a plan during the open enrollment period that began Nov. 1 and closed on Dec. 15. That’s about the same number of Floridians who signed up for an ACA plan on healthcare.gov for 2017.

But enrollment may rise in Florida because most residents will be eligible for a deadline extension to Dec. 31 due to Hurricane Irma.

A special enrollment period for Floridians kicked in after the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared all of the state’s 67 counties eligible for assistance as a result of Irma, which made landfall in South Florida on Sept. 10.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers healthcare.gov, then announced a special enrollment period giving Floridians extra time to buy insurance.

Follow Daniel Chang on Twitter: @dchangmiami

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