Missouri Healthcare.gov sign-ups drop almost 16 percent

Officials say 244,382 Missouri residents selected 2017 health plans using the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace during the open enrollment period, which ended Jan. 31.

That’s a decrease of 15.8 percent compared to the 2016 open enrollment period, according to preliminary figures from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Missouri’s decline wasn’t unique, although it was greater than the national average. Among the 39 states that use the Healthcare.gov platform, about 9.2 million people signed up for a plan in 2017, a decrease of about 500,000, or 5 percent. Open enrollment began Nov. 1.

The report released by CMS this month doesn’t include figures from 11 states that run their own health insurance markets — including California and New York — so the final national number will be higher. But the preliminary report is being closely watched, because President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress have vowed to repeal the Obama-era health law and replace it with a plan yet to emerge.

In conjunction with the release of the CMS figures, Trump administration spokesman Matt Lloyd said that “Obamacare has failed” and the new president looks forward to providing relief through “patient-centered solutions that will work for the American people.”

Read more: Springfield News-Leader

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