Health insurance open enrollment slow so far in Arizona

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PHOENIX (AP) - Arizonans who don't get health insurance through their employers or qualify for Medicaid don't appear to be rushing to buy individual plans for 2019 despite a looming Dec. 15 open enrollment deadline.

Experts say the reasons for the nearly 20 percent drop in the first four weeks of the annual open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act plans aren't completely clear. But a major cut in outreach efforts and the elimination of a tax penalty next year are probably factors. And a growing economy likely means more people are getting employer-sponsored insurance.

Enrollment surged last year just before the deadline.

More insurers are selling plans in Pima and Maricopa counties for 2019, and premiums will be stable or slightly lower.

Nationally, enrollment is down 13 percent compared to last year.

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