Amid Uncertainty, ACA Exchange Enrollment Spikes In Indiana, Nation

Dec 21, 2016

Credit Wikimedia Commons / https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Medicine#/media/File:Stress_test.jpg

Even though many Hoosiers will be facing increased prices and fewer options on the Affordable Care Act’s federal health insurance exchange next year, Indiana’s enrollment for 2017 is still up by more than 9 thousand people.

According to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 119 thousand Hoosiers have signed up for insurance on healthcare.gov for coverage beginning January 1, a nearly 9 percent increase.

Enrollment is also up nationwide, with 400 thousand more people signing up compared with last year. Those numbers are expected to rise as people who are automatically re-enrolled in their coverage plans are taken into account.

HHS extended the enrollment deadline by four days after hundreds of thousands of people rushed to sign up in the last days of the enrollment period. That extended period ended Monday.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell says the new numbers put to rest worries increased rates nation-wide would put a damper on enrollment.  The cost of the exchange’s benchmark plan is up 22 percent from 2016.  

According to the Indiana Department of Insurance, the average rate for Hoosiers using the ACA exchange has increased 19 percent compared with last year.

The spike comes amid uncertainty about the ACA’s future under the incoming Trump Administration.

An analysis by the Urban Institute estimates 560 thousand Hoosiers would lose coverage under a partial Obamacare repeal.