More than six million people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act since Oct. 1, President Obama announced in conference call with volunteers and workers Thursday. The six million mark, reached just four days before the end of the open enrollment period, represents the administration’s revised goal and the point of sustainability as predicted by congressional budget analysts.
Earlier this week, the White House announced an enrollment extension through mid-April for people who attempt to register by the March 31 deadline, in an effort to ease tension over problems with the online marketplace. Difficulty with the website during its roll-out last fall caused the Congressional Budget Office to revise its enrollment goal down from seven million.
The federal and state health insurance marketplaces are fielding a surge of interest as the eligibility period draws to a close, with more than 1.5 million visits to HealthCare.gov and more than 430,000 calls to call centers Wednesday, according to a statement from a White House Official.
The White House is working to appeal to younger, healthier people ahead of the enrollment deadline; their participation is necessary to offset-the costs of patients requiring more care. In recent weeks, Obama took part in an interview with Zach Galifianakis on the web show “Between Two Ferns” and the White House launched a March Madness-style bracket asking people to vote for their favorite reason to get covered. In the White House read-out of the President’s call from Italy, it is unclear what percentage of the six million enrollees are young people.