There has been a lot of talk about the latest enrollment numbers for ObamaCare but one analyst says don't forget about self-employed Americans.
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 8.8 million people enrolled in 2018 Obamacare plans between November 1 and December 15.
That's down slightly from the previous year's enrollment period but it's still being viewed as a positive because the 2018 enrollment period was the shortest thus far.
"What hasn't been discussed is there's a world outside the exchanges – the rest of the individual market," says Ed Haislmaier of The Heritage Foundation. "And that is predominantly where people - or almost exclusively - where people who make too much money to qualify for a subsidy but need coverage, say self-employed people, go."
The concern is that the subsidy pool is shrinking according to data from the previous year.
"So the missing piece here," says Haislmaier, "is what's going on outside of the market to the unsubsidized middle-class population. It looks like fewer of them are having coverage."
As for the 8.8 million people enrolled for 2018, Haislmaier says it's not that surprising.
"The indications had been from 2016 that the market was settling down, that the trends were flattening," he explains. "So I didn't expect either a significant increase or significant decrease over last year. And that's kind of what we got, a sort of flattening of the line about the same as where we were last year."