Washington, D.C. — The Center for American Progress is calling on the Trump administration to extend the open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from tomorrow, December 15, the current deadline, to January 31, allowing for the same amount of time as the previous year. CAP is echoing calls from Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Patty Murray (D-WA) who called for a similar extension earlier this week.
This year, enrollment through HealthCare.gov is currently 16.5 percent higher than last year at this time. In fact, the daily pace of enrollment has consistently exceeded the pace last year throughout the open enrollment period. This means that the demand for ACA coverage remains high—no surprise given that the vast majority of HealthCare.gov consumers can find plans for less than $75 per month.
With demand outpacing last year, the Trump administration’s arbitrary decision to prematurely cut off enrollment this Friday will leave millions of Americans without coverage. If enrollment falls far short of last year’s total, which is likely, it will be a direct result of the Trump administration’s decision to cut the open enrollment period in half. This much shorter period is compounded by the Trump administration’s deep funding cuts to advertising, outreach, and assistance. Awareness is very low: According to the Kaiser Health tracking poll, 80 percent of ACA enrollees and 95 percent of the uninsured do not even know when the open enrollment period ends.
Today, CAP is calling on the Trump administration to extend the open enrollment period through January 31—the same deadline as last year. There is no reason not to do so other than to prevent millions of Americans from enrolling in coverage.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Devon Kearns email@example.com or 202.741.6290.