More than 8 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans under Obamacare’s online exchange, officials say, but some details remain vague.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported Thursday that 8.01 million selected a plan from the federal exchange under the Affordable Care Act. This is the final report for the first enrollment period of Oct. 1 through the March 31 deadline, plus some widely publicized extensions.
“Together we are ensuring that health coverage is more accessible than ever before,” outgoing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.
Although the 45-page enrollment report gives more insight into the gender, age, and financial assistance status of the new “enrollees,” it does not say how many had paid their first month’s premium. The Obama administration also did not disclose how many of the enrollees previously were uninsured.
Instead, officials promoted the 2.2 million young adult (ages 18 to 34) that made up 28 percent of the participant pool. Officials originally projected that, to be successful, Obamacare’s state and federal exchanges would need nearly 40 percent of new enrollees to be relatively healthy young adults — and thus spread out health care costs.
The announcement came a day after the House Energy and Commerce Committee charged that only 67 percent of Obamacare enrollees paid their first month’s premium by the extended deadline of April 15.
Citing data from insurers, committee members called previous enrollment figures from the Obama administration “misleading.” HHS officials argued that final payment deadlines are set by insurers, who could have extended them to late April — meaning more may have paid.
By the rough estimate of insurers, 80 percent to 90 percent likely paid their first month’s premium, The Hill newspaper reported.
This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.