In spite of repeated attempts to dismantle the ACA or Obamacare, the current enrollment period this year has seen a record number of sign-ups. Even with cuts in funding for advertising, denials of cost sharing initiates, reduction of hours and the amount of time that consumers have to enroll the ACA numbers are better than ever.
As reported in an article at BenefitsPro.com, the record number of signups started even in the first few days of open enrollment. Even after dozens of attempts by Congressional Republicans to either repeal or implode the healthcare law, they have been unsuccessful. The latest attempt at repeal or destruction of the ACA is reported to have worked its way into the latest tax reform bills now before the House and Senate. As in previous attempts, the public outcry by voters to save the ACA has been significant.
Even though Democrats of both bodies of Congress feared that the efforts by the current administration would greatly reduce the number of people who enrolled, the exact opposite has been the case. On the first day of enrollment on November 1st, more than 200,000 people selected a healthcare plan for 2018: That is double the number of signups at the same time in 2016 of approximately 100,000. The website reports having had more than 1,000,000 visitors to the healthcare.gov website on that first day compared to just 750,000 at the same time last year.
Those who favor keeping the law and making improvements to it rather than scrapping it entirely have watched the Trump administration and the Republican Congress repeatedly attempt to kill the law in any way possible. This has led to much instability in the ACA’s marketplace in terms of the numbers of participating health insurance providers.
Most of those who signed up early on the site were renewing coverage rather than those who were signing up for the first time. It is still up in the air about how successful the ACA sign-up process will be due to continued uncertainties caused by the administration’s continued attempts to destroy the law. According to reports from industry professionals, the outreach budget to promote the ACA was slashed by 90 percent. The administration also cut back significantly on the number and amount of grants that it gave to outside organizations which helped consumers navigate the enrollment process.
Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan indicated in a recent speech that although the administration does want the process to be as simple as possible, several insurers pulled out of multiple state marketplaces or hiked their insurance rates after President Trump refused to make cost-sharing reduction or CSR payments that assist those providers in covering patients who require more frequent and often more costly, care.
At NetPEO, we understand that within the area of healthcare, the outlook seems fraught with uncertainty. Companies must keep informed and up-to-date on what the latest laws, regulations, and legislation are. What is happening today in the realm of healthcare and benefits can be confusing and frustrating, it’s easy for companies and workers to feel frustrated in just trying to make sense of it all. NetPEO stays informed and understands the law. We are committed to making sure our clients and their workers are also informed and are able to provide healthcare for their employees.
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