The number of people enrolled for Obamacare coverage this year decreased to 11.1 million by the end of March — down from the 12.7 million who signed up by the January deadline, new figures show.
A drop off in enrollment has happened before, and is partially caused by people who sign up for coverage by the deadline but then lose it because they do not pay their premiums, McClatchy News reports
But administration economists estimate that overall, 20 million people have been able to get coverage because of Obamacare, both from the marketplaces and from the law’s expansion of Medicaid.
"This increased level of enrollment demonstrates the strength of the marketplace over time, as millions of Americans continue to have access to quality and affordable coverage when they need it," Kevin Counihan, the CEO of the Obamacare marketplaces said, The Hill reports
Around 10 million people are expected to remain enrolled in Obamacare plans by the end of 2016.
People have also lost coverage because of issues due to citizenship or immigration paperwork.
For example, in the first three months of the year, 17,000 people lost coverage because of citizenship or immigration documentation problems, a figure that is down 85 percent from last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports.
According to The Hill, the Congressional Budget Office had at one point projected that 2016 enrollment would be as high as 21 million people — and critics have pointed to that disparity to argue the Affordable Care Act is underperforming.
But the administration has countered that fewer employers than expected have dropped their coverage and shifted people into the marketplaces, The Hill reports.
In addition, Counihan touts the fact that about a million more people are signed up at this point compared with the same period last year, The Hill reports.
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