Subsidzied ACA enrollment chart The number of unsubsidized enrollees on the Affordable Care Act health care exchanges dropped by 1.2 million last year, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

While the drop in the number of enrollees footing the whole bill for their coverage is no surprise, given the pricey premiums involved, it’s not good news, and it doesn’t fit with the CMS claim. From 2016 to 2018, the report says, unsubsidized enrollment on the exchanges fell 40 percent, with declining numbers in nearly all states. Meanwhile, from 2016 to 2018, 2.5 million people altogether—who were paying the whole premium bill for ACA coverage themselves—have dropped out of the individual market.

Related: ACA enrollment declines greatest among non-subsidized plans

CMS administrator Seema Verma took advantage of the news to claim that this was yet another sign that the ACA isn’t working. “As President Trump predicted, people are fleeing the individual market,” she said. “Obamacare is failing the American people, and the ongoing exodus of the unsubsidized population from the market proves that Obamacare’s sky-high premiums are unaffordable.”

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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