On Friday, the Obama administration announced that at least three million U.S. residents have enrolled in private health coverage through the state- or federally run insurance exchanges, USA Today reports.
According to HHS, nearly 1.2 million U.S. residents enrolled in private plans through the federally run health insurance website -- HealthCare.gov -- between Oct. 1, 2013, and Dec. 28, 2013, while an additional 956,000 signed up for coverage through the state-run exchanges (Kennedy, USA Today, 1/24).
According to Modern Healthcare, the total enrollment figure accounts for more than 40% of the anticipated enrollment goal for the six-month open enrollment period that ends on March 31 (Demko, Modern Healthcare, 1/24).
Before the Oct. 1, 2013, launch, officials had projected that a total of 2.7 million people would purchase coverage before 2014. Some officials have predicted that the total number of exchange plan sign-ups could reach seven million by the end of the open enrollment period (California Healthline, 1/14).
According to the Washington Post, HHS said that at least 800,000 people had enrolled in coverage during the first three weeks of January. In September 2013, officials projected that 1.1 million enrollees would sign up for coverage this month, a goal that could still be met with a week left in January.
Observers note that enrollment appears to be increasing since HealthCare.gov -- which faced a series of delays and glitches following its launch -- was overhauled (Kliff, Washington Post, 1/24).
In October and November of last year, fewer than 400,000 individuals enrolled in coverage through the website, compared with 1.8 million in the first four weeks of December 2013 (Modern Healthcare, 1/24).
In a blog post, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner wrote, "As our outreach efforts kick into even higher gear, we anticipate [enrollment] numbers will continue to grow, particularly as we reach even more uninsured young adults so that they know that new options and new ways to help eligible individuals pay for their premium are now available" (Washington Post, 1/24).