Signups through the ACA health insurance exchanges declined year over year during the 2019 open-enrollment period, CMS revealed on Dec. 19.

The federal government said preliminary data shows about 8.5 million Americans signed up for ACA health plans through the midnight Dec. 15 Eastern Time enrollment deadline, compared to 8.8 million people at the same time a year prior.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said increased employment and more Americans with employer-based coverage may have contributed to the decrease. Additionally, CMS estimates about 100,000 exchange enrollees in Virginia became eligible for expanded Medicaid in the state.

While enrollment was running lower overall, it increased in  the last week, with more than 4.3 million people signing up during that period compared to 4.1 million the same period a year prior, according to The Hill.

Enrollment figures from CMS only apply to states using the platform.