Obamacare had its second-best enrollment month in January, adding more than 1 million people to its rolls, much improved from the law’s rough opening months. The drop was expected after December’s key enrollment deadline, but didn’t slow the sign-ups as much as anticipated.
The 1.1 million enrollments as of Feb. 1 bring the law’s total to 3.3 million — still behind its projected totals ahead of the Oct. 1 launch, which had anticipated that many sign-ups by the end of December. But after the law signed up a fraction of its expected enrollees in October and November — before HealthCare.gov was declared fixed — it’s continued positive news for the law, administration officials said.
According to the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff, January was the first individual month that Obamacare beat its pre-launch projected enrollment.
“These encouraging trends show that more Americans are enrolling every day, and finding quality, affordable coverage in the marketplace,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.
Enrollment among young people ticked up slightly in January; 27 percent of enrollees were ages 18 to 34, compared to the 24 percent in October through December. About 25 percent of its sign-ups are now in that core demographic, again well behind the initial projections, but at a level that experts say should allow for the law’s actuarial survival.
About 55 percent of enrollees are women, the administration reported, and 45 percent are men. Obamacare introduced new reforms that prohibited insurance companies from charging women more for coverage.
HealthCare.gov, which enrolled less than 25,000 people in its disastrous first month and serves 36 states, continued to pull ahead of the 15 state-run websites after trailing for most of its first three months. More than 1.9 million Americans have enrolled through the federal site, with the remaining 1.4 million coming from the state sites.
California is still far outpacing any other state in the union with 728,000 enrollments, followed by Florida, (297,000), New York (211,000) and Texas (208,000).
Administration officials said that they didn’t have data on how many had paid their first premium for their coverage or how many enrollees were previously uninsured.