Amid Uncertainty, Healthcare.gov CEO Encourages Consumers To Sign Up

Nov 25, 2016

The head of the Obamacare exchanges is encouraging consumers to continue signing up for health insurance even though Republicans are promising to repeal the law. The CEO of healthcare.gov acknowledges he can't guarantee there won't be changes in coverage.

President-elect Donald Trump and Republicans who control Congress have vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. About 20 million Americans rely on that law for health insurance. In North Carolina, about 550,000 people are insured through the Obamacare exchange or marketplace.

Credit healthcare.gov

Federal Marketplace CEO Kevin Counihan says he can't promise that coverage will remain.  

"It's not my place to promise anything about a new administration," he says. "But what I can tell you is not only are we moving forward, but our enrollment is higher than expected."

More than 1 million people have signed up since the new enrollment period began this month, according to federal data. That includes 53,000 more than the same period a year ago.

Although Counihan won't make promises, health care researchers say it's unlikely Republicans would eliminate people's insurance before they've replaced it. Researchers and industry insiders estimate that won't happen before 2018.