Obamacare off to a rocky start in 2016

The statement noted that in the first two years of Obamacare, exchange enrollment fell roughly 20 percent from what was initially announced, because those who signed up either didn’t keep up with their premiums or obtained other coverage. On this basis, Avalere estimated that year-end enrollment would actually be roughly 10.2 million in 2016.

This is significantly lower than the 21 million individuals the Congressional Budget Office initially projected the law would signup in 2016, below the downwardly revised 13 million CBO projection, and effectively flat from a year ago.

Perhaps even more significant than the headline number, HHS also revealed that just 28 percent of those who signed up for coverage are between the ages of 18 and 34 – which is the same proportion as last year, and well south of the 40 percent target that HHS said was crucial to the exchanges remaining viable. It’s necessary for Obamacare to enroll a critical mass of younger and healthier individuals to offset the costs associated with offering coverage to older and sicker individuals.