The Thanksgiving holiday may have cooled activity growth at HealthCare.gov during the fourth week of the open enrollment period for individual health insurance for 2018.
About 504,000 families selected plans during the week that started Nov. 19, and those families’ applications could end up covering a total of about 708,000 people.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), that runs HealthCare.gov, is publishing weekly activity reports this year and published biweekly reports last year.
Families signed up for coverage for a total of 1.9 million people during the third and fourth weeks of the open enrollment period for 2018, up just 7.6% from the total for the third and fourth weeks of the open enrollment period for 2017 coverage.
But plan selection activity was 42% higher during the first two weeks of the 2018 open enrollment period than it was during the first weeks of the 2017 open enrollment period.
(Related: HealthCare.gov Posts Strong Second-Week Results)
Because the open enrollment period got off to such a fast start, the 2018 HealthCare.gov plan selector total reached 4.8 million Saturday. The activity total is 26% higher than the activity recorded at the same point a year earlier.
CMS, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), set the 2018 open enrollment period to run from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 in the HealthCare.gov states.
The drafters of the Affordable Care Act originally assumed that most states would run their public exchange programs, or web-based supermarkets for health insurance.
HHS started HealthCare.gov to provide Affordable Care Act public exchange plan enrollment and account administration services in states that were unwilling or unable to provide ACA exchange services themselves. HealthCare.gov is now providing exchange services for people in 39 states.
Florida and Texas have been the biggest HealthCare.gov markets in the past, and they continue to be strong HealthCare.gov markets.
Almost one-quarter of the families that have signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov are in Florida, and about 12% are in Texas.
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