Obamacare sign-ups fall below expectations, last year's levels

Sign-ups for Obamacare coverage declined for the first time in the 2017 season and fell below the Obama administration’s estimates for the three-month enrollment window, according to figures released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

A total of 12.2 million people enrolled in Obamacare plans nationwide between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31 — a drop-off from the 12.7 million sign-ups at the close of the last open-enrollment season. The Trump administration soon after taking office scaled back enrollment outreach during the critical final week of sign-ups.

The Obama administration estimated that 13.8 million people would sign up through the law’s online marketplaces, or exchanges. Roughly one-third of the 12.2 million sign-ups were new enrollees, HHS said.