END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

Maryland: Day One enrollments up 70% over last year (1,800)

Believe it or not, the original core focus of ACASignups.net was...wait for it...to track how many people are Signing Up for the ACA. Hard to believe, I realize.

Anyway, I have my first hard data point of the batcrap insane 2018 Open Enrollment Period, and it's a surprisingly positive one:

Enrollments in health insurance through the state’s health exchange was robust on the first day of open enrollment Wednesday, with more people signing up for insurance than last year, officials said Thursday.

Advocates and others had expressed concern that consumers would be confused by political wrangling and policy changes to the Affordable Care Act from the administration of Pres. Donald Trump that led to last-minute rate increases and a severe decrease in marketing dollars for the program.

But exchange officials reported that enrollments under the law, known as Obamacare, were up 70 percent to more than 1,800 compared with 1,055 on the first day a year ago. About 150,000 people signed up for private insurance on the exchange in the state last year and more enrolled directly through insurers.

Website traffic on marylandhealthconnection.gov also was up to about 16,000 views. That’s up nearly 40 percent from 11,600 a year ago. Dental enrollments were up 77 percent on the first day, to 1,095 from 617 one year ago. Use of a mobile app increased from 2,622 views to 7,711.

Needless to say, it's way too early to draw any conclusions based on a single day in a single state, and of course Maryland operates their own ACA exchange anyway, so much of the outreach sabotage/etc. going on at HealthCare.Gov won't have an impact on MD's numbers. And of course, an initial burst of enrollments doesn't tell you anything about the final number.

Even so, it's certainly better to hear "Day One enrollments up 70%!" than "down 70%!", so I'll take it. Maryland, at least, is off to a promising start.