signups still at record pace, despite uncertain future

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPVI) -- Talk of changes in the federal health insurance system isn't discouraging signups.

Enrollments on are continuing at a record pace.

8.8 million Americans have signed up from Nov. 1st to December 31st, and the total is expected to hit 13-point-8 million by January 31st, when open enrollment for 2017 ends.

Program C-E-O Kevin Counhihan tells Action News that Americans really want coverage, regardless how the drama in Washington unfolds.

"People value health insurance. people understand how expensive it is, if god forbid, they have a catastrophic illness for themselves or a dependent. they also like knowing they can get preventive care," says Counihan.

He believes Americans are realistic about the uncertainty over the program's future.

"There's a big distance between campaign rhetoric and actually governing policy, that the politics of what occurs in Washington is complicated. it takes time, it involves 2 houses of government," he says.

He says anyone signing up now WILL have coverage for all of 2017.

And it looks like future prices will be settling down.

"The insurance company finances are turning around," he noted, referring to a Standard and Poors report in December showing companies weren't suffering the big losses they'd reported in 2015 and early 2016.

The S&P report said the losses were a one-time charge, caused by Congress not funding part of the Affordable Care Act.