Nearly 2.3 million people signed up for health insurance coverage through the federal healthcare.gov website during the first 18 days of Obamacare's open enrollment, as the rate of signups continues to outpace last year, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Democrats have accused the Trump administration of trying to sabotage Obamacare because it has cut the advertising and outreach budget and reduced the sign-up period to six weeks from three months. But enrollment is stronger than many believed it would be.
During the first 18 days, 2,277,079 signed up for coverage. Last year, the final open enrollment of the Obama administration, it took 26 days to sign up 2,137,717 people. Still, the shorter open enrollment period means that they'll need to average twice as many sign-ups per day to match the 12.2 million that signed up by the end of last year's open enrollment.
The third week resulted in 798,829 people signing up for plans, which was down from the 876,788 who signed up in the second week. In the first four days, 601,462 signed up. Americans who don't get coverage through a job or through a government program like Medicaid have until Dec. 15 to sign up through the federal government, which for most enrollees is subsidized through tax credits paid for by the federal government.
Within the total sign-ups up to this point, 1,711,037 customers were renewing customers who already have a plan through the exchange and 566,042 are new customers. The evaluation includes only sign-ups on healthcare.gov, which 39 states use, and therefore does not have information about the enrollment of other states that run their own exchange.