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S & P: Affordable Care Act enrollment to stall, decline in 2017

By
Andrew V. Pestano
President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act Exchange is expected to see a slowdown after the 2017 enrollment period, S & P Global Ratings said in a report Thursday. File pool photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI
President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act Exchange is expected to see a slowdown after the 2017 enrollment period, S & P Global Ratings said in a report Thursday. File pool photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- S & P Global Ratings has warned that enrollment in the Obamacare healthcare program, formally known as the Affordable Care Act Exchange, is projected to stall or decline in 2017.

S & P predicts 10.2 million to 11.6 million people will be enrolled in President Barack Obama's healthcare program after the 2017 enrollment season, which begins on Nov. 1. About 12.7 million people signed up to the program after the 2016 enrollment period, Bloomberg reports.

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The enrollment slowdown is expected to occur from people who are not eligible to receive government subsidies or those unable to enroll because of a price increase in premiums.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is planning an outreach program to sign up people who qualify for subsidies and do not have insurance, which S & P projects will increase those who enroll, but that increase will be offset by current non-subsidized people who will not renew their coverage.

"These individuals are the most price-sensitive ... since they are paying full premiums and will be most affected by the premium rate increases expected in 2017," S & P said in its report. "Our forecasted modest-to-negative growth is clearly a bump in the road, but doesn't signal 'game-over' for the marketplace."

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