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Affordable Care Act enrollment up nearly 50 percent

Staff Writer |
Signups in 39 states this month for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased at least 47 percent over the same period last year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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In a weekly update posted Wednesday, the agency reported enrollment under the ACA reached almost 1.5 million people during the first 11 days of enrollment - including 876,788 in the second week.

Of the total so far, 345,719 are new customers since enrollment began November 1.

During the first two weeks last year, the number was 1,008,218. Total enrollment for coverage this year was 12.2 million people.

The federal exchange sells individual plans in the states that do not operate their own ACA marketplaces.

California, the largest state-run exchange, reported enrollments on the first day of signups increased 25 percent from last year.

The Trump administration has cut the signup period in half compared with previous years and has slashed budgets for Affordable Care Act outreach, called Navigators, to $36 million and advertising by 90 percent.

People without insurance for 2018 are subject to a tax penalty of $695 per adult, or 2.5 percent of household income. Many uninsured can avoid the penalty if they qualify for an exemption.

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