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Obamacare enrollment slides to 10.3 million for 2017

Posted June 12

Some 10.3 million people actually enrolled in Obamacare for 2017, as of mid-March, Trump administration officials said Monday. That's down from the 12.2 million who signed up for coverage when open enrollment ended on January 31.

It's not uncommon for the numbers to drop since some consumers select plans, but don't complete the enrollment process by paying their first month's premium.

Last year, some 12.7 million people picked policies by the open enrollment deadline. But 11.1 million people had enrolled by the end of March, according to data released at the time by the Obama administration.

The Trump administration, which is working to dismantle Obamacare, blamed the drop on the high cost of the plans.

Related: 12.2 million people signed up for Obamacare for 2017 amid GOP repeal efforts

"Not surprisingly, as costs continue to go up, fewer Americans can afford to pay more and get less for healthcare," said Health Secretary Tom Price. "Many individuals and families across the country are tired of having their healthcare options dictated to them by Washington -- particularly when those limited options are unaffordable."

Premiums for the benchmark plan increased an average of 22% for 2017. Many insurers hiked rates after finding their enrollees were sicker than expected.

But the vast majority of Obamacare enrollees are shielded from these rate increases because they receive subsidies that pay at least 90% of the cost of the benchmark plan.

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