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Ohio's 2019 ACA Enrollment Down 18 Percent Compared To Last Year

This is the last week of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The number of people enrolling for 2019 has decreased both nationally and in Ohio, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Enrollment in ACA health plans nationwide is down 11 percent compared to this time last year. In Ohio, enrollment is lagging by about 18 percent.

The Trump administration has cut funding for navigator programs, which guide people through enrollment options, as well as advertising for open enrollment. Karen Pollitz with the Kaiser Family Foundation says both factors may be contributing to the decrease.

"So far the biggest lag is in these new consumers," Pollitz said. "Because it’s the new people coming to the market for the first time who are probably most in need of help, most in need of a reminder, and help getting their application in."

At the end of the Obama administration, Ohio had a budget of $2 million dollars for navigator programs. This year, it’s at about $300,000. The deadline for open enrollment is Saturday, Dec. 15.

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