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Obamacare Enrollment Is Up, But Fewer Signed Up During Open Enrollment

More Americans who signed up for Obamacare plans are sticking with them.

More Americans who signed up for Obamacare plans are sticking with them.

Some 10.6 million people were enrolled in Obamacare in February, up 3% from the same time a year earlier, according to new federal figures released Monday. This comes despite a 3.7% decline in the number of people who signed up for 2018 coverage during open enrollment in the fall.

Those who selected 2018 plans during open enrollment were more likely to complete their enrollment by paying their first month's premiums -- only 9% failed to do so, compared to 15% the prior year.

This year's Obamacare enrollees are also more likely to receive federal subsidies to help pay their premiums. Some 87% of this group qualified for government assistance, compared to 84% who were typically subsidized in 2017.

Average monthly premiums for 2018 jumped 27% -- that came on top of a 21% increase the prior year. The average monthly subsidy for 2018 was $520, compared to $373 a year earlier -- an increase that will likely raise federal spending by more than $17 billion this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated.

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
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