In the first open enrollment period since
"Hopefully there were more people insured through their employer or they went about getting insurance other ways," said
When the open enrollment period for 2019 coverage ended Saturday, about 90,000 Kansans and 223,000 Missourians had signed up. Last year's open enrollment drew about 98,000 people in
The website functions well now, and some people who qualify for income-based subsidies can get high-deductible plans without paying any premiums.
But premiums have risen steadily for those who don't qualify for subsidies, making it more tempting for them to go uninsured, especially now that there's no financial penalty for doing so.
The Trump administration also expanded access to "short-term" insurance plans sold outside of Obamacare that are often cheaper because they don't have to cover pre-existing conditions or other things mandated by the ACA.
Since taking office in 2017, Trump has also sliced the federal budget for advertising open enrollment and for navigators to help people select a plan and see if they qualify for subsidies.
McGivern, whose organization trains navigators in
"Those were all a huge benefit to the program and to help with outreach across the state," McGivern said. "We're very lucky to have that funding."
But she said uncertainty about the status of the law continues to be a factor in depressing enrollment.
That decision is expected to be appealed and doesn't immediately affect enrollment. But McGivern said it wasn't clear how many people knew that.
"We got a few questions on that from the public about 'What's this mean?'" McGivern said.
The 2019 enrollment numbers are preliminary and may be revised slightly upward, because people who called into an enrollment center before the
After the problem-plagued first year, open enrollment had never been lower than 96,000 people in
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