Nov. 15, 2017: 2018 Open Enrollment Brings Surge of Insurance Sign-ups

Open enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2018 coverage began Nov. 1, and already more than 601,462 people nationally selected plans using the platform, according to a snapshot report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act – and a resulting increase in premiums – this early report is encouraging. By comparison, the first open enrollment report for 2017 had indicated that 1 million people signed up; however, that snapshot covered weeks one and two, which represented a 12-day period. This year the first snapshot only covers week one, which was only four days long.

The report indicates that of the 601,462 individuals, more than 450,000 consumers were renewing their coverage and approximately 137,000 new consumers were purchasing coverage for the first time. The report defines a new consumer as one that did not have Marketplace coverage last year.

The final number of plan selections associated with enrollment during a reporting period may change as plan modifications or cancellations occur, such as those due to life changes like starting a new job or getting married. In addition, the snapshot only reports new plan selections and active plan renewals; it does not report the number of consumers who have paid premiums to effectuate their enrollment. Data on effectuated enrollment is usually available in the middle of the year for which consumers are enrolled.

CMS will release enrollment snapshots for the platform every week during open enrollment.