As of mid-August, 7.3 million Americans were enrolled in an insurance policy on the Obamacare exchanges and had paid their premiums, according to the Obama administration.
Marilyn Tavenner, the chief of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which operates Obamacare, announced the figures on Thursday.
“As of August 15, this year, we have 7.3 million Americans enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace coverage and these are individuals who paid their premiums,” she said in a statement. “We are encouraged by the number of consumers who paid their premiums and continue to enroll in the Marketplace coverage everyday through special enrollment periods.”
The Congressional Budget Office had originally set an estimate of signing up 7 million people by the time the open enrollment period ended in March. After the bungled launch of HealthCare.gov last fall, the CBO revised that figure downward to 6 million. Today’s new enrollment data means the total number of paid enrollees has now exceeded both of those original mile markers.
A Health and Human Services official said that figure excludes people who had signed up for a plan but failed to pay their premiums by August 15; it also excludes those who signed up and paid their premiums after August 15. The figure does not factor in the 115,000 who may be dropped from coverage on Sept. 30 due to failure to verify their lawful immigration status.
The administration previously said that more than 8 million had selected a plan on the Obamacare exchanges, but it was unclear how many of them had actually paid their premiums. Republican lawmakers sought to discredit the figure by claiming at the time that as many as one-third of them weren’t paying their premiums.
The 7.3 million figure does not include other beneficiaries of Obamacare, such as those enrolled under its Medicaid expansion, those who bought plans outside the exchanges (which have to comply with the law’s guaranteed benefits), and young adults who are enrolled on a parent’s policy.