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More Than 233,000 Ohioans Enrolled In Obamacare, Defying Expectations

Valeri Potapova

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data this week on the number of people who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for 2018. The federal data shows numbers on 39 states that use HealthCare.gov, the federal health marketplace, to sign up for insurance.

More than 233,000 people in Ohio signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for 2018, during the open-enrollment period that ended last week. According to federal data, that number is down from the 239,000 Ohioans who signed up last year, but not as low as many feared.

A total of 8.8 million Americans nationwide signed up for the plan. Some 4 million of those signed up for a health insurance plan during the final week of enrollment before the Dec. 15 deadline – a deadline half the length of last year.

According to NPR, the recently-passed Congressional tax overhaul “repeals the fines for those who fail to obtain health coverage, but those fines do not go away until 2019. Still, that has added to the confusion surrounding 2018 coverage.”

Even in Ohio, the numbers exceeded many expectations after fears that the Trump administration’s decisions to shorten the enrollment period, cut advertising and slash outreach funding by 90 percent would deter sign-ups. Many health care navigators around the state had to stop their programs altogether.

But in the end, 2017 saw about 96 percent of the signups as the previous year.