Feb. 7 (UPI) — A total of 11.8 million people signed up for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act for 2018, according to a health care research group.
Total enrollment dropped 3.7 percent from 12.2 million in 2017, data released by the National Academy for State Health Policy Wednesday showed.
“For the first time we now have the full national picture of how the individual marketplaces did this year and it is a picture of remarkable stability,” said NASHP executive director Trish Riley.
The 2018 ACA enrollment season was the first under President Donald Trump and featured a decreased marketing budget as well as an enrollment period half as long as previous years.
Trump also repeatedly referred to the health care system, also known as Obamacare after his predecessor, as “dead” and talked of allowing it to implode.
Enrollment declined by 5.3 percent in the 34 states where residents signed up for ACA coverage through the federal exchange, where enrollment ended on Dec. 15.
States which handle their own systems and advertising such as, New York, Colorado and California, typically offered extended sign-up periods and saw .2 percent increase in enrollment.
“Despite all the uncertainty and challenges we have seen, particularly for consumers living in states supported by state-based marketplaces, we see millions of Americans continuing to benefit from the coverage they get in the individual market,” Riley said.