Former HealthCare.gov exec: Cuts to ACA health plan advertising means 1.1M fewer enrollees

At least 1.1 million fewer Americans will enroll in health plans on the ACA exchanges next year due to a 90 percent cut in advertising funds, according to a blog post by Joshua Peck, former chief marketing officer of HealthCare.gov.

In September, HHS said it would cut the ACA's advertising budget from $100 million to $10 million for 2018. Mr. Peck calculated the effect this would have on enrollment. He determined the 1.1 million fewer enrollees was "solely because of the administration's drastic cuts to open enrollment outreach," and does not include "consumer confusion about repeal efforts, the executive order or the end of payments of cost sharing reductions."

However, HHS said the advertising money has been spent inefficiently. "Judging effectiveness by the amount of money spent and not the results achieved is irresponsible and unhelpful to the American people," Caitlin Oakley, an HHS spokesperson, said in September.

Mr. Peck is a co-founder of Get America Covered, a campaign aimed at promoting sign-ups on the ACA exchanges and providing information about federal subsidies for eligible enrollees. 

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