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Obamacare enrollment up in Illinois, but enrollment period is much shorter

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017

* Tribune

Illinois consumers are snapping up Obamacare health insurance plans much faster than they did last year, despite lingering uncertainty over the law’s future.

More than 95,000 Illinois residents selected Obamacare exchange plans during the first four weeks of open enrollment this year, compared with about 68,000 at about the same time last year, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Enrollment is also up nationally. Across the country, nearly 2.8 million people signed up for insurance coverage on the exchange between Nov. 1 and Nov. 25 this year, compared with about 2.1 million between Nov. 1 and Nov. 26 last year.

It’s unclear, however, whether this year’s sign-ups in Illinois and nationwide will ultimately match last year’s by the time open enrollment ends. The open enrollment window this year is half as long as last year’s. Consumers only have until Dec. 15 to sign up for coverage this year. Last year they had until Jan. 31. […]

The Illinois Department of Insurance bulked up its Obamacare website this year,, allowing consumers to purchase plans directly on that site and talk with licensed brokers. The state also expanded the hours of its help line.

* Pritzker campaign…

Following reports that Obamacare enrollment in Illinois has surged nearly 40 percent over last year, outpacing the national increase of 33 percent, JB Pritzker released the following statement:

“Illinoisans are enrolling in ObamaCare at rates well above the national average, and I’m thrilled that over 95,000 Illinoisans have signed up for healthcare coverage so far,” said JB Pritzker. “This is a declaration that Illinoisans will not be deterred by Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump in our fight for affordable healthcare. With Trump actively sabotaging healthcare enrollment nationwide and Bruce Rauner refusing speak out about Trump cutting the enrollment period in half and slashing advertising by 90 percent, we know we have to keep up the fight. Illinoisans deserve a governor who will defend this state against Trump’s attacks and help Illinoisans get covered. That’s what I’ve done in this campaign and it’s the kind of leadership you’ll see from me as governor.”

Read about JB’s advertising campaign to promote HERE.

Pritzker is spending about $1 million on the Obamacare ad campaign.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    To the Post,

    Here’s what’s critical to me for the raw politics on display “today”, and in the micro (if you can call it that) Dem Primary.

    As Kennedy goes after the property tax angle…

    As Biss goes after the “billionaire-auction” angle…

    Pritzker? Pritzker is actually being pro-active in a campaign for voters, albeit an ad campaign and working on enrollment, showing leadership and doing something that actually impacts a voter that Pritzker can point to and say he is looking out for voters, and willing to do what needs to be done for all Illinoisans (publicize the ObamaCare deadline, etc)

    It’s the difference between micro, small ball, nitche campaigning…

    … and making a larger narrative for more voters to be actually effective and being effective by a measurable.

    It’s a head scratcher, to me.

    Are we running for governor of Illinois, making things better for all Illinoisans, or are we thinking, with limited monetary resources and media following, that nagging issues are going to overtake the millions that will be in a and campaign Pritzker will roll out praising “Illinoisans” for signing up, and his small part in it… “what else can we accomplish together?” will be that tag line, making it about “all” not about “them” (other candidates) or “me” (I’m better because I’m not a billionaire or I have toilets installed)

    What are we really talking about?

    I’m telling ya, it’s a head scratcher.

  2. - PJ - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    OW, it’s great Pritzker’s doing this and all, but what are Biss and Kennedy supposed to do? This is literally pocket change for him. They have to run normal, human political campaigns. They can’t spend it on unrelated boondoggles.

    I think people in this politico bubble miss how effective the anti-billionaire rhetoric is right now, as an aside. Frankly I find it pretty gross the Pritzker’s most effective argument is “I have enough money to beat Rauner’s money”. Can we backtrack from that path once we go down it, or will being a billionaire become a de facto requirement for executive office in America?

    There’s something real in the notion living life like a normal human giving you perspective. For proof, see Secretary Mnuchin telling the middle class that with their $2000 tax cut they can “buy a car or remodel their kitchen”.

    Out. Of. Touch.

  3. - walker - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    The General Election overriding themes will be “anti-Tax” vs. “anti-Trump”.

    JB is just punching up and going directly there. He is gambling that the Primary is a lock.

  4. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    This offers some anecdotal proof that social media is better than paid advertising. When it was revealed ad nauseum all over that the ad budget to hype the enrollment period was slashed (along with much other gov agency advertising) the intertubes and social media went to work. And it appears to have been very, very effective.

    Lesson learned maybe. Since ACA isn’t new anymore and the majority of this process was “re-enroll”, that probably helped too.

    If enrollment is up and the cost to get it there was cut, both sides should claim wins.

    Will they? Not a chance.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 2:03 pm:

    ===it’s great Pritzker’s doing this and all, but what are Biss and Kennedy supposed to do?===

    Kennedy? Kennedy can push the “Kennedy vision”, big picture, Kennedy style campaigning, with Ra Joy, and sharing their vision how Illinois will be better, be it gun violence or economics.

    Biss? I’ve said 563 times already, Biss needs to grown from small rooms, to big rooms, to ball rooms to gymnasiums, and if it is this Bernie-type, left type campaigning, then Biss is giving up on moderates, and fighting Kennedy on the visionary, so be willing, and he has, build 1, 2, 4, 10, 100… but, is it just wealth?

    This race is to be THE governor of Illinois.

    ===Frankly I find it pretty gross the Pritzker’s most effective argument is “I have enough money to beat Rauner’s money”. ===

    Yeah, um, and Pritzker used it not to destroy labor but to help people remember to sign up for ObamaCare.

    It’s not the money, it’s how Pritzker will show, “I’m willing to be there for Illinois, here’s where I did that”

    I dunno how out of touch a person spending millions to remind people that they need to sign up or lose their healthcare plays, but I do know how a positive ad that touts “we” worked together to get more people signed up…

    That’s not out of touch…

    …that’s touching people’s lives.

  6. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    ===(along with much other gov agency advertising)===

    Lol. Not only was the advertising budget stripped, the enrollment period was shortened.

    How you can defend this stuff is beyond me, but at least I can count on you to try.

  7. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 2:33 pm:

    It’s great to see people jumping to it and buying health insurance plans.

    I don’t want to kill off the health insurance industry. The irony is that some who weep and are furious at the prospect of unions being crippled or wiped out want to wipe out the health insurance industry. That ain’t me.

    I helped a family member enroll again this year, and the premium thankfully increased only around $9 per month. The total premium, I believe, is around $170 or more per month. This is a silver plan with something like a $1,950 deductible. This person gets a monthly subsidy of something like $405. Sorry I don’t remember most of the exact numbers. So Obamacare has helped my family for several years already.

  8. - A guy - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    ==How you can defend this stuff is beyond me, but at least I can count on you to try.==

    Dude, enrollment is up. The fact the shorter enrollment period was not going to be widely advertised (they did spend some money doing it) sent Social Media into overdrive and wound up actually helping I believe.

    I’m sure that wasn’t the intent, but it was the result. I observed the dynamics of SM vs paid ads. That isn’t defending or not defending. It’s simply observing. Decaf for you.

  9. - Dr X - Wednesday, Nov 29, 17 @ 4:21 pm:

    I’ll be signing up for the first time. The 35% premium increase on the cheapest Health Alliance plan drove me to it. Maybe more people are like me - can’t take the massive hit to their income and now need a subsidy.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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