About 12.7 million Americans enrolled in private health insurance through the federal and state marketplaces for 2016, the Obama administration said Thursday.
Sign-ups in the third enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplaces - and the last that will be completed while President Barack Obama is in office - easily topped last year’s amount and also beat the administration’s modest forecast.
Amid growing questions over the future of insurance exchanges, the head of California’s marketplace said the nation’s largest health insurer should take responsibility for nearly $1 billion in losses and stop blaming the federal health law.
In a blistering critique, Covered California’s executive director, Peter Lee, said UnitedHealth Group Inc. made a series of blunders on rates and networks that led to a $475 million loss last year on individual policies across the country. The company estimates a similar exchange-related loss of $500 million for this year.
North Carolina’s average premium increases on the Obamacare exchange are among the highest in the country, according to federal data. The Obama administration warned this open enrollment period, which closes Jan. 31, could be particularly tough because many of the sickest, and therefore most motivated, people already bought plans.
And yet, sign-ups in North Carolina are on pace to be substantially higher than the two previous years. Roughly 95,000 more North Carolinians selected a plan during the first two months of this enrollment period compared with the last one. Across the country, only two states using the federal exchange saw more sign-ups over the same period: Florida and Texas.