Obamacare remains popular with 11.5 million sign ups so far
NEW YORK — Even as Congress has begun the process to repeal Obamacare, Americans continue seeking coverage through the health reform program.
Some 11.5 million people have signed up for coverage through the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, and the 12 state-based exchanges, as of Dec. 24, according to federal data released Tuesday. That’s 286,000 more than the comparable time a year ago.
Open enrollment continues through Jan. 31.
The number of people opting for Obamacare is under more scrutiny than usual this year, since President-elect Trump and Congressional Republicans have vowed to repeal it soon after he takes office on Jan. 20. Initial efforts, however, are already running into resistance, with some GOP members wanting to wait until a replacement plan is ready before voting to repeal.
Even before the election, there were concerns that customers would be deterred by price hikes — the average premium for the benchmark silver plan soared 22% for 2017 — and the fact that some insurers had pulled out of the exchanges.
Most enrollees, however, are shielded from those increases by federal subsidies. Some 9.3 million people who have signed up for 2017 plans are eligible for subsidies, according to Health & Human Services Department officials. The average subsidy for those enrolling on the federal exchange is $4,600 a year.