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More than 8.7 million people signed up for healthcare coverage during the recent Open Enrollment period that ended on Dec. 15, 2017, a promising number despite a shorter signup period than previous years.
Of the 8.7 million signups, 2.4 million were new enrollments and 6.3 were re-enrollments, according to federal data.
About 9.2 million signed up last year, including 1 million Latinos.
This year, given the closeness in overall signups this year to last year, it can be estimated that about the same number of Latinos sign up this year, too.
Although slightly lower overall than last year, the new 8.7 million sign-ups are strong. This is because the Trump administration slashed advertising funding for Obamacare by 90% and cut spending on the navigator program, which funds enrollment assistance for minorities like Latinos, Vox reports.
“Our goal from the beginning was to empower patients across the healthcare delivery system and make sure that Americans who chose to enroll in the Exchanges had a good customer experience while making enrollment more cost efficient,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “And the results show that we accomplished our goal.”
Open Enrollment & Latinos
This was the fifth year of Open Enrollment and the Healthcare Marketplace, created as part the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.
The Healthcare Marketplace has proven to be a successful way for many people, especially Latinos, to obtain health insurance.
Latinos’ uninsured rate dropped from 43% in 2010 to less than 25% in 2016. Nearly 1 million people who identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic enrolled in Marketplace plans last year, USA Today reports. That made up about one-tenth of all customers on the site.
This year, Florida (24% Latino) and Texas (39%) had the most enrollments (1.7 million and 1.1 million, respectively).
North Carolina, home to the ninth-fastest-growing Latino population since 2000, came in third with more than 500,000 enrollments.
“In a market that is experiencing soaring rates, I am proud of the hard work CMS put into making sure that our customers didn’t experience the website failures that were commonplace with HealthCare.gov in previous open enrollment periods,” Verma said.
Final numbers may not be ready until March 2018. Some states running their own health insurance markets are continuing to sign up consumers, Deseret News reports.
Learn more about the importance of health insurance here: