Obamacare Enrollment Moves Past 3 Million, But Enough Young People Still Aren't Signing Up

Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges soared past 3.3 million through the end of January, beating monthly projections for the first time since sign ups began last October.

But only 25% of them were between the ages of 18 and 34, a key group that the White House has projected would be about 40% of the overall pool.

The Obama administration had initially aimed for 7 million enrollments by the end of March. But in the wake of a disastrous rollout of the federal health website, HealthCare.gov, the Congressional Budget Office recently lowered its forecast to 6 million.

“These encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the Marketplace,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

Of the 3.3 million, about 1.9 million are signed up through the federal exchange, which serves 36 states. 1.4 million are signed up through the exchanges from 14 states and the District of Columbia.

There was a slight uptick in the number of young people who signed up, a fact that HHS pushed in its report. Overall, 27% of enrollees in January were between the ages of 18-34, up from 24% the previous three months. But both are lower than the 40% goal. Young, healthy people signing up is crucial to the success of the law, as their inclusion will help subsidise older and sicker enrollees.

Here’s the chart showing the uptick:

The Obama administration did not release data on how many of the people signed up have actually paid their premiums.

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