Enrollment in health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act has surpassed 6 million, President Barack Obama said Thursday on a conference call with health care navigators and volunteers.
That means enrollment in the exchanges has surpassed its target number, which was revised down from an original goal of 7 million after the federal health care website’s disastrous rollout in October.
The deadline for people to sign up for coverage this year is March 31.
“This afternoon, while travelling in Italy, President Obama convened a conference call with health care navigators and volunteers helping with enrollment efforts and announced that more than 6 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans through the federal and state Marketplaces since October 1,” the White House said in a readout of Obama’s conference call.
“The President was joined on the call by several thousand grassroots volunteers, navigators and in-person assistors who are leading the effort to enroll millions of Americans in quality, affordable health insurance plans.”
The White House said demand continues to surge ahead of the deadline — there were 1.5 million visits to HealthCare.gov on Wednesday, and more than 430,000 calls into call centres. There are still four days to go before the initial deadline. And on Tuesday, the Obama administration said it would grant extensions to people who start applications ahead of the deadline but are unable to complete them for various reasons.
After the website’s disastrous launch, only 106,000 people picked plans in October, the first month people could sign up. But by December, once many of the problems with HealthCare.gov had been fixed, more than 2 million people had signed up.
The Congressional Budget Office’s most recent estimate projected 6 million people would sign up for coverage during the law’s initial, six-month enrollment period. The CBO projects that 7 million people will join in 2015 and 9 million more will join in 2016.
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