Dec 13, 2017

ACA enrollment surges as deadline nears, but still trails past years

Open enrollment for ACA coverage ends Friday. Photo: AP file

Enrollment through HealthCare.gov is picking up steam as the deadline to get covered gets closer — but not enough steam to match past year's results. More than 1 million people signed up last week, the highest total for any single week so far, pushing total enrolment for the year up to roughly 4.7 million.

The bottom line: The totals are still not on pace to catch up to the 9 million people who signed up through HealthCare.gov during last year’s open enrollment period — which was twice as long and featured a well-funded outreach effort that no longer exists.

Between the lines: These totals reflect where enrollment stood as of this past weekend, and they suggest the traditional deadline-driven surge was already under way as the sign-up period entered its final week. (The enrollment window closes on Friday.)

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.