“In 2014, after accounting for attrition after the end of the first open-enrollment period (March 31, 2014), 6.7 million individuals had enrolled by December 31. In 2015, 2.6 million additional individuals enrolled (and remained on their plans), raising the total to 9.3 million people enrolled on December 31. If similar trends hold, total enrollment on the ACA exchanges will hit 10 million on December 31, 2016.
Overall, ACA-exchange enrollment has been lower than expected; in 2016, the gap between actual and forecasted enrollment is likely to widen further. For instance, in 2014, the ACA exchanges’ first year, enrollment (6.7 million) exceeded the CBO’s February 2014 forecast (6 million). But in 2015, total enrollment (9.3 million) lagged behind the CBO’s March 2015 forecast (11 million). And if current trends hold, total enrollment in 2016 (about 10 million) will be dramatically less than the CBO’s March 2015 forecast (21 million).
Are these lower-than-anticipated ACA-exchange enrollment figures the result of uninsured individuals securing coverage by other means — such as by enrolling in employer-sponsored coverage or Medicaid? Start with the former. As the Department of Health and Human Services has noted, in a growing economy, employer-sponsored coverage typically rises as more people acquire jobs. Instead, from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2015, employer-sponsored coverage in the U.S. declined.
Or take Medicaid. Enrollment in this government-insurance program for the poor expanded during the aforementioned period; but such expansion largely matched the CBO forecast — and, therefore, was also incorporated into the CBO forecast for ACA-exchange enrollment. Indeed, if the ACA exchanges’ meager enrollment numbers were caused by a rise in coverage obtained elsewhere, America’s overall uninsured rate would have declined in 2015. Instead, it barely budged, hovering around 11.9 percent.” - Why Obamacare Is Failing at "Universal Coverage", foundation for economic education, 04/17/2016
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