Health insurance enter key on keyboard After steady years of decline, the uninsured population increased by nearly 700,000 in 2017. (Photo: Shutterstock)

When the Trump administration nullified the individual insurance mandate by killing the penalty in last year’s tax reform bill, many were sure it would result in a plunge in insurance signups and a spike in the uninsured rate.

With just days left until the end of the ACA open enrollment season, signups are down nearly 20 percent over last year. The loss of the individual mandate may have something to do with it, but other factors at play include an increase in alternative plans as well as a hot economy that has created more options for employer-sponsored health coverage.

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