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Obamacare sign-ups top 6 million

By Jay MacDonald ·
Friday, March 28, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

Remember that crush of online shoppers that promptly crashed and a few state marketplaces when the Obamacare health insurance exchanges opened for business last fall?

It has apparently happened again -- without the website drama this time.

President Barack Obama took time out Thursday during his swing through Italy to share the news via conference call with health care navigators. He said the exchanges have officially surpassed the government's goal to enroll 6 million Americans in health care plans during the initial six-month open enrollment period that ends Monday.

100K sign-ups per day

The proud POTUS said 1.5 million visitors had logged onto on Wednesday alone, with daily website enrollees averaging 100,000 a day since mid-March, signaling the same sort of rush, albeit from last-minute shoppers as opposed to first adopters, that shut down the exchanges within minutes of opening on Oct. 1. The federal portal serves as the default exchange for 36 states that elected to pass on the option to build their own under the Affordable Care Act.

In part due to the ill-prepared website, which took a few weeks and several changes of IT contractors to shore up, the feds dialed back their original goal of 7 million sign-ups by 1 million last fall. But following the December relaunch, traffic and sales picked up appreciably. By the end of February, an estimated 4.2 million consumers had obtained health insurance through the exchanges, and by mid-March, the number hit 5 million.

More time given

Last week, health officials announced a compromise with foot-draggers that gives those 11th-hour shoppers until roughly mid-April to obtain insurance and thus avoid the tax penalty under the individual mandate, so long as they get their application rolling before Monday's deadline. However, it remains unclear to what extent the deadline delay helped contribute to the last-minute rush that put Obamacare over its six-month goal.

A couple of other nuggets from the administration's latest update:

  • No figures were released as to how many of the latecomers were healthy young Americans ages 18 to 30, the so-called "young invincibles" considered key to Obamacare's ultimate success.
  • It is estimated that roughly 2 in 10 applicants have paid the first month's premium on their new policies.

With three full days remaining, there may yet be time to insure tens of thousands more Americans who are now just awakening to a reality many thought they'd never see: affordable health care, just a mouse click away.

Nostalgic for that crazy rollout? Here's my first-hand account of the day.

Follow me on Twitter: @omnisaurus.

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March 31, 2014 at 5:56 pm

What do you mean I am posting comments to quickly? Is this also an Obama site? Just curious as to who is paying for the 8 out of 10 people who hasn't paid their premium when it was due. If it wasn't past due it would not have been included in the percentages.

March 31, 2014 at 5:45 pm

since only 2 out of 10 have their monthly premium is this million count number even correct. I guess registering is the most important and actually paying doesn't matter?

Ann Prain
March 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Obama scare- Was a way for the government to get control of the American people and their money. Beware printing money doesn't help our dollar. And the greatest amount of money in the U.S.A. is in your 401k and other retirement plans. Watch out..Obama will gladly give some to "poor people" who never put a dime away or worked for a living. They will get a share of mine and yours. He should just added the 30 million on medicare . And by the way Insurance companies are a business they are supposed to make money. They also by law must have $ put away for lawsuits. Wise up Jason- Six millon my ---

March 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm

You are forgetting that most Americans already had health care coverage before this whole thing started. I didn't have to sign up because I already have coverage either on my own or through my employer.

March 28, 2014 at 4:43 pm

What a Joke and a whopper of a lie. I just lost my health care and have been working two days to just get to the policies. Still working on it now as I wait for the web site to start up again. Hey Harry Reid you can go F yourself THIS IS THE STUPIDEST THING THAT AMERICA HAS EVER DONE!

March 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm

6 million people lost their coverage last year because of Obamacare. Then we sign up 6 million people, 20% of whom pay, netting us a net of around -5,000,000 uninsured people.

Thats about right

June McWilliam
March 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm

..hmmm...let me get this right. If only 2 out of 10 have paid for their first month's premium, and they don't have (or won't release) the data on how many young people have signed up (and paid their first month's premium), how does one have the audacity to call this successful? Goes to show, that we indeed have a nation of idiots. Delays, mistakes, etc., well, if this happened on a project with someone in the private sector, it would be demotion, replacement or firing.

Jack Spearman
March 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm

I don't think there is any reason to start celebrating just yet.According to estimates only about 20% of these people who have signed up have paid their first premiums and also how many of the people who signed up have lost their coverage.The reason for the law in the first place was to offer coverage to the people who did not have access to coverage. I know of people who lost their coverage and due to having to go into Obamacare their deductible went from $500 to $6,000. I have yet to see a gov't program that works the way it should.

Lou Connatser
March 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm

so 6 million people sign up and it's a "clearly successful program embraced by the American people"? aren't there 315.7 million people in the USA? that leaves about 309.7 million people who DIDN'T sign up. now that looks like a failure to me

Jason Miller
March 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Clearly a very successful program embraced by the American people. Affordable Health Care for all. 6,000,000,000 Americans now have health insurance and that is not even counting the states who have their own programs like the successful MN Sure program in Minnesota.